For a passenger the French, who arrived in London by Eurostar, the only line of high-speed rail in the United Kingdom, the observation is quickly made. If, instead of turning to the left, to the exit of the railway station of St. Pancras, to the london underground, you take a right, in the direction of departures to Sheffield, you will be the face of diesel locomotives steaming, which have been dragging on a track not electrified north of England. To join the Sheffield, 270 miles away, it takes two hours and a quarter and about a hundred euros for an immediate start. A Paris-Angers travels twenty kilometers more in an hour of less, for only eighty euro. QED : faster, cheaper, and the superiority of the French rail network is not to demonstrate.
The political debate in Britain seems to prove the current difficulties of the rail. Jeremy Corbyn, the head of the labour Party, has promised to renationalise the trains if they come to power, an idea very popular. And don’t ask Stephen Trigg what he thinks of trains in the suburbs of London : with more cars archibondés and an annual subscription of 3,600 pounds (4 100€) up to Redhill, at 30 kilometers from the british capital, this passenger took the head of a local association of travellers. “Our line is at the brink of collapse, permanent. The lesser problem of signaling and the delays accumulate. “
A ” success story ”
Behind this impression of chaos, the reality is much more nuanced. “For twenty years, the british trains are a “success story “, writes the same Michael Holden, director of the agency of consultants, Coledale Consulting, who formerly headed two rail operators in the uk. The statistics are actually on his side. Since the second world war, there has never been as many passengers on british trains. After collapsing…