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Ian

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09:43 pm: Trains
There is something about the look and sound of a train. The excitement
of seeing the locomotive and coaches of the express train to London
from a provincial town. It's a powerful image. All through last year,
almost every morning I would see it at Chester Station and it was
truly a wonder that I never got on it anyway. Now, of course, I catch
it at least once a week.
Sometimes, when it is stupidly overcrowded, I'm not so sure, but it is
still a special event. Perhaps less so in some places. The Flying
Scotsman at noon from King's Cross, first stop Newcastle. Well, not
these days, but it does still leave at noon.
These are the magical rail services. The speed, the convenience, the
opportunity to snooze, read, have a snack or a drink and now the
environmental benefit over flying (long distance) or driving (short
distance) all add up to something very wonderful.
But why do governments of all political colours over so many years
spend so little on rail infrastructure. Even now, as oil prices rise
and demand increases, more is still being spent on roading by a great
many times. The time is now to turn round the evils of Beeching and
Thatcher and their woeful and arrogant short-sightedness and invest
heavily in railways. Improvements and new lines in Britain are
urgently needed for passenger and freight traffic. You know it makes
sense.

Current Mood: reflective

Comments

[User Picture]
From:zaitcev
Date:July 12th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC)
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As Lileks once said:

"The preferred model for a nice, controlled population is a dense city where your small apartment has a tiny fridge st0cked with bean curd molded into pleasant, food-like shapes. Trains take you to your job, which is either building trains, fixing trains, designing public service posters for trains, cleaning trains or writing software to operate trains. Once a week you'll pull on your best taupe-hued hemp jumpsuit and take the train to the biweekly Culture Expo to hear something held up to enlightened ridicule (anything's game, except Islam and Global Warming)."

P.S. Thatcher was the last good thing to come from Britain.
[User Picture]
From:ringbark
Date:July 12th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
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Evidently we have differing views on trains and Thatcher.

Out of interest, what brings you to my LJ? I appear to have no friends and only a handful of communities in common. It would be powerful magic indeed to be able to track and post all pro-train and anti-Thatcher postings and deal with them accordingly!
[User Picture]
From:zaitcev
Date:July 12th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
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I am a big enthusiast of trains, but I do not like to pay for leftist fantasies about trains.

I saw your entry at Advogato.
[User Picture]
From:suilven
Date:July 13th, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC)
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This is a post very dear to my heart and I too am dismayed at our continued lack of investment while continuing to pander to the car and all that that entails.

I think fundamental problem is that politicians tend to think in 5 year bursts and few really have the vision or the courage, and it would take courage, to look beyond that. I think it is criminal that Beeching, under a Conservative government, first of all did this to the rail service and secondly that we have singularly failed to invest in them over the intervening years so that even the services that remain with us have limitations. Thatcher in particular savaged our rail industry. The French at great cost and some criticism invested heavily but I bet those that complained are not crying now.

As for Thatcher, I heard on the news that she is to be given a State Funeral, presumably when she dies though I for one would not be adverse to her having it before that.

Edited at 2008-07-13 02:39 pm (UTC)
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