More questions arise about the right way to run a railway

From: JW Smith, Sutton-on-Sea.

Tom Richmond is absolutely correct when he says railway privatisation has not worked (Yorkshire Post, January 9) and has left the nation paying subsidies which in part have gone to make up large bonuses for executives and foreign owners.

Subsidies greater than the giants paid to run the railways in the days of British Rail. He suggests a public private consortium, but if we are still going to pay subsidies, why not go the whole hog and take the lot into public ownership so that income goes to the taxpayer for redistribution?

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People unfairly compare with European railways. For some 20 years when our railways were expected to keep going on string and sticking plaster, the French and Germans were investing in theirs and retaining control. On one journey last year I spent four and a half hours travelling with a German family who simply could not understand why, particularly in relation to the size of the country, there were so many companies. Our system would have been much better if only over the early years we had invested an equivalent amount to that put in roads.

His suggestion for new controls is a good one, however I would suggest that the long distance companies should also control any services starting and finishing on their routes with the others looking after cross country and other services joining the long service routes.

What annoys me is that people will sit for hours on a motorway with an “oh dear” but complain bitterly if a train is delayed by a few minutes. There is no question that charging and ticket procedures need simplifying.

From: P Wade, Locksley Gardens, Birdwell, Barnsley.

I’m sure the Chinese will not feel threatened by the Government’s £36bn spending spree to bring back industry to the UK.

Linking a few of our former industrial powerhouses with a high speed railway, and hoping that someone will build a factory again, is putting the cart before the horse.

Only the rails will be made in the UK – by an Indian-owned steelworks in Scunthorpe, everything else will be sourced from overseas.

Should the priority not be to put the money into say a shipyard on the Clyde, a steelworks on Teesside, a silicone chip factory in Sheffield, a textile mill in Bolton, a computer factory in Wales, a solar-panel factory in Bradford, and a few nuclear power plants here and there?

From: D Wardell, Malton Road, York.

THE Government threatens to ruin the heart of Britain by demolishing huge amounts of our heritage just to enable a train to make a journey 16 minutes quicker which is not wanted and will become a white elephant.

Our MPs do not care a jot for Britain’s citizens – we are looked upon as collateral damage.

How on earth could we allow 314 listed buildings be destroyed? It’s an outrage.

The Dutch line has been a commercial disaster, running 85 per cent empty and needing a £250m bailout by taxpayers. Need I say more.

From: James Bovington, Church Grove, Horsforth.

WHILE it is true that the plans for HS2 show a link to HS1 north of St Pancras via the North London Overground line, I very much doubt that we will actually be able to join a direct Paris train in Leeds.

This is because of the British obsession with checking passports and a desire by immigration staff to show their tiny-minded authority by refusing to follow the lead of the rest of the world and check passports – if such checks really are required – on the train.

This means in effect that any train will either be national or international, ie a Leeds-Paris train couldn’t take national passengers to London and then continue to Paris as an international train.

From: Barrie Frost, Watson’s Lane, Reighton, Filey.

PERHAPS I am simply not “bright enough” for just what do you do with the 30 minutes the journey from London to Birmingham will save?

Does this saving of a relatively short period of time produce such enormous benefits to warrant the whole upheaval the HS2 will cause? If so, what are they?

Can the destruction of beautiful countryside and the massive upheaval it will cause to all those living on its route possibly justify this project?