UncleEbenezer wrote:Many Beeching closures don't remotely fit that description. Example here in the southwest: we were totally cut-off in 2014 when the main and only line connecting us to Exeter and anywhere east/north from there was washed out to sea. We need a re-opening of the inland line between Exeter and Plymouth via Okehampton and Tavistock as a route for the whole region. And if we also had an upgrade to (say) half or even one third as fast as the trains east of Exeter - or other intercity routes in most of the country - we might join the modern world for a cost that's small-change in the HS2 budget. Call it our share of that HS2 budget and the other 99% remains for deserving projects elsewhere.
But would sufficient numbers actually use the train?
How many people need to go from Okehampton or Tavistock to Exeter or Plymouth - and who would do so by train rather than by car which will be cheaper and more convenient.
I commuted into London for many years and the trains were packed with commuters heading into London because there was no other choice and driving simply wasn’t an option.
However catch the train in the intervening eight hours between commuting times - well that was a different story. On a train that could hold 1,702 people (and would in the commuting times) you could often count the number of passengers on both hands.
It was utterly uneconomic to run the trains during the day for so few people, let alone on a regular 30 minute service. So why didn’t people use them - cheaper to drive to the next town and more convenient than lugging your shopping back on the train and then needing to catch a bus from the station home.