Liverpool to Hull by train – Why Northern Poorhouse Rail is not delivering

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:-

I still look upon the Northern Powerhouse as a Northern Poorhouse as it seems to be a southern view of what we northerners need or a southern promise which never seems to be properly funded.

The idea of connecting cities from Liverpool to Hull by high speed rail is spot on but it is too oft talked about rather than actually being delivered within a reasonable timescale. The Liverpool Echo article clearly demonstrates the present problems but what we need ‘up north’ is UK Government investment delivered by a decentralised accountable body and we need to get on with it NOW.

Oh and no Burham Bandwagoning over it too please.

One thought on “Liverpool to Hull by train – Why Northern Poorhouse Rail is not delivering

  1. Bob Jungels says:

    A standardised, nationalised rail network would greatly help with these cross-regional projects. This is coming from someone who has worked in the industry, and knows all too well how European rail networks operate.

    A good article below suggests there could be some ‘work-around’ solutions to re-nationalisation within the EU but these are fraught with caveats and red tape, and will only delay the investment that needs to be made NOW.

    The article suggests how in Japan, each of the regions is responsible for both the management of the infrastructure and the train services themselves.
    Fresh back from a trip to France, it is clear how much less fragmented their network is compared to ours. The network of the Loire region is essentially ran by the Pays de la Loire regional body (the TER trains), and for high-speed inter-city trains, the state-owned TGV trains.

    From the passenger perspective, it is perfectly clear what the difference is, and who owns/runs the regional TER trains, with big “Pays de la Loire” logo splashed across their sides.

    These TER trains are uniform, and operate singularly all over the region. I didn’t see one train that *wasn’t* a double-decker, the whole network is electrified, and rail fares were very modest compared to ours (£8.30 return from Burscough to Preston is a scandalous price for such a sub-standard train service. To be fair to Merseyrail, the new £5.30 all-zone Day Savers are excellent value for money – credit where credit’s due here).

    The key difference here is the region’s aren’t allowed to manage the infrastructure on top of the train services, unlike Japan, and this is specifically because of EU law.

    I’m not explicitly implying that leaving the EU will solve our rail woes, but narrow-minded Remainers need to heed caution when praising the merits of the EU whilst understanding the legal restrictions placed on any EU government who wants to take back control of their failing network.

    Of course, it goes against their principles of industry monopolisation and opens up competition, but clearly, at the moment, our network is like no other on the continent in terms of its complete disjointedness and fragmentation. There are numerous historic reasons for this, none more so than the complete lack of political will to invest heavily in our rail network, post-WW2. It has always been the easy option to invest in road-building and disregard rail services as an economic burden on the tax-payer.

    But we are where we are, and I agree about the Northern Powerhouse – it, much like Transport for the North, is all talk, and no walk. It is obsessed with the idea of creating an economic powerhouse from Liverpool to Hull with a high speed rail network in between, but completely ignores regional and sub-regional networks that are essentially the arms of the Northern Powerhouse body. You can’t have one without the other.

    A majestic west-east network is as good as an arm-less body without having a majestic regional/branch lines to feed into it. The same principle applies to HS2 which is why I am vehemently opposed to it.

    Very often these strategic quangos miss the real big picture of a region(s) in their unabashed quest to deliver big, sexy projects that look great and sound great, but in reality cost the tax-payer millions/billions, and yet still leave the vast majority of rail passengers still stuck at Square 1 – i.e. at a crap station, on a crap network, waiting for a crap train that may never come and paying well over the odds for the privilege of doing so.

    Until the time comes when a leadership come into power that understand how the rail network really functions and is serious about moving it to the top of the transport investment infrastructure tree – far ahead of road-building, we will never see the light of day with half of these projects.

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