Letter: A real railway

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Sir: Only a person afflicted by the Treasury's perverse logic could pen the line 'SNCF may have the fast trains, but InterCity is the most efficient railway in Europe' - without ironic intent ('Private sector, public benefit', 22 February).

A railway system accessible to all at a reasonable ticket-price, running frequent and reliable services over a vast network is efficient by my definition. We have Treasury rules, the French have a working transport policy. A railway run on the basis of efficient service is also a great democratic institution. Here on the Riviera, rich and poor alike can take the train from their yachts at Cannes to their banks in Monte Carlo for about a fiver - as I am sure Rupert Darwell's Treasury chums are well aware.

Yours faithfully,

DOUGLAS YOUNG

Cannes, France

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