Alan White: taken for a ride

Why we’re still being taken for a ride by our train companies:

The great irony is that somehow all this mess hasn’t created that terrible a service. Anyone who thinks renationalisation is a silver bullet hasn’t spent six hours in the waiting room at a provincial station on the Continent with no air conditioning and nothing but the town lunatic’s thousand-yard-stare to keep you company; pretty much my summer of Interrailing in microcosm.


If you wish to travel from Aberdeen to the Kyle of Lochalsh it will take you all day. (Change in Inverness – five hours to get there, about five hours there, and five hours to get back.) The return fare is now between £63.40 and £72.70 and will go up in January. It’s 183 miles, and if you drove, would take you about four and a half hours.

If you wish to travel from Koksijde to Virton in Belgium, it’s 206 to 232 miles depending which route you took, and will take you about two and a half hours if you drive. By train – there are three changes – it will take you five and a half hours to get there and the same to get back. But you can buy a one-week network pass for the whole country for £66.

Thank you very much, Alan.
Alan White's Kleenex

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