Rail tickets: A ridiculous state of fares?

Every year commuters despair at the increasing cost of rail travel in Great Britain. But the truth is we are destined to see the spiral continue; and we only have ourselves – and the governments we elect – to blame. Yet the paradox, argues Simon Calder, is that Britain’s trains – and fares – remain the envy of the world

Sunday 18 November 2018 10:00
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It is widely believed that our trains are simultaneously too expensive and too crowded
It is widely believed that our trains are simultaneously too expensive and too crowded

The gentleman on the other side of the aisle on the 7.55pm from Manchester to London last Thursday paid up quietly; he had been correctly and politely surcharged by the train manager for failing to show his railcard.

But once the diligent Virgin Trains official moved on, the unhappy passenger launched into a tirade about rail fares.

“It’s the thing that annoys me the most about the UK,” he grumbled to his companion. “Trains should be a public service. German train fares are so much more reasonable.”

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