Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Murder on the Wrexham and Shropshire Express

I liked the W+S. It ran cheap services in beautifully-appointed old trains, which made everybody stop and stare as they ran through stations because they reminded us all of the days in which railway travel was elegant, enjoyable, affordable and logical. No more: the Wrexham Shropshire Railway closes down on Friday.

Needless to say, they're victims of monopoly capitalism. The insane idea of railway privatisation was that multiple companies would maintain the tracks, others would run the stations and many others would run trains. A recipe for disaster. The hope was that loads of companies would compete to provide services. The reality was that anyone trying to do something different - like the W+S, which provided a London service for an area deprived of easy access to the capital - gets squeezed out by the big monopolists who make 'profits' by extracting more subsidies from the taxpayer than state-owned British Rail (!) while increasing ticket prices by obscene amounts.. So the W+S was restricted to bad times and stopping only at tiny stations away from large towns and cities, and forced to take the slow routes. Did the big firms try to provide a service to compete with the W+S? No, of course not: they just closed it down by underhand methods.

Yet more proof that capitalism fosters poor, expensive services at the expense of those who try to do a decent job.


Ewarwoowar said...

As a frequent train user this is sad news, but news that doesn't surprise me a great deal. I just hope Arriva Trains Wales don't go anytime soon, as their journeys are a million times better than the ghastly and slow London Midland.

Sue's Blog said...

I’ve had some lovely journeys to London via this train company. It provided the best service and most comfortable journeys ever. I am totally gutted that it is finishing on Friday.