A whine and complain thread

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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby James » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:24 pm

ntw3001 wrote:It was her government (and, I believe, the one following her) that privatised the railways. Turns out that results in abandonment of unprofitable stations, tracks being taken up, price increases and overcrowding. Train companies don't have to supply a good service for a decent price. Commuters can't exactly be picky about which train company they use; they pick the one that serves their local branch line (long-distance trains are nicer, because customers making a one-off journey from a major hub can feasibly make a choice). If driving isn't an option (for whatever reason), there's no alternative. They privatised an industry in which profits don't depend on quality of service.

Yeah, that's kind of the essential problem with privatising the trains: it isn't very practical to have multiple networks offering the same service, but without that competition there isn't much incentive to provide a more desirable service. Comparing the cost of train travel in the UK to that on the continent is depressing, in my experience. In Austria we were able to travel all around Vienna for three days for a few euros each.

Lots of people really hate using public transport, but I really don't mind it. I just wish it wasn't so outrageously expensive.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby jvcc » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:03 pm

James wrote:
ntw3001 wrote:It was her government (and, I believe, the one following her) that privatised the railways. Turns out that results in abandonment of unprofitable stations, tracks being taken up, price increases and overcrowding. Train companies don't have to supply a good service for a decent price. Commuters can't exactly be picky about which train company they use; they pick the one that serves their local branch line (long-distance trains are nicer, because customers making a one-off journey from a major hub can feasibly make a choice). If driving isn't an option (for whatever reason), there's no alternative. They privatised an industry in which profits don't depend on quality of service.

Yeah, that's kind of the essential problem with privatising the trains: it isn't very practical to have multiple networks offering the same service, but without that competition there isn't much incentive to provide a more desirable service. Comparing the cost of train travel in the UK to that on the continent is depressing, in my experience. In Austria we were able to travel all around Vienna for three days for a few euros each.

Lots of people really hate using public transport, but I really don't mind it. I just wish it wasn't so outrageously expensive.

I've never been on a train, partly due to the aforementioned train problem in my hometown, but I didn't mind taking the bus when I lived at school. I lived pretty far off campus so I had to take one with all the "townies," as they were derisively called by my fellow students.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby James » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:15 pm

jvcc wrote:I've never been on a train

Logically that makes perfect sense, but intuitively that's utterly bizarre to me.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby PonderThis » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:47 pm

James wrote:
jvcc wrote:I've never been on a train

Logically that makes perfect sense, but intuitively that's utterly bizarre to me.

It's funny, really. This is a nation that was built on trains. Without the transcontinental railroads that were built in the late 19th century the United States simply would not have become the continent spanning country it became.

Then two things happened in the 1950's and 60's. First, the automobile went from being a toy of the rich to being a staple of the common man. Second, regular airline service happened. The former replaced the need for short-distance rail transport throughout most of the country and air travel replaced medium and long range train service.

Not everywhere, of course. In the denser cities of the northeast rail service never went away. And today rail commuter service is returning to larger cities throughout the country -- even here in Dallas. Nevertheless there are large swaths of the land that have no passenger rail service whatsoever and people who grow up never getting near a train. Heck, I had never been on a train myself until my first visit to the northeast back in the nineties.

It's really cool. You should give it a try when the opportunity presents itself, jvcc.

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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby MysticalDescent » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:12 pm

jvcc wrote:
MysticalDescent wrote:I'm fairly sure (although I'm not entirely sure of the specifics or the extent of the whole thing) that sometime in the 60s/70s/80s the Queen used her power to do something in Australia.

She also told Thatcher she was an evil bint (may or may not be a direct quote), which is a fairly reasonable use of position.

This probably belongs in the "Cultural Differences" or "Jvcc asks questions about the UK" thread, but what precisely did Thatcher due during her administration (I may have asked this already, actually)? I think it ended the same year I was born: 1990; her term as PM, that is. As far as I understand she took away free milk for children in English schools (I specify English because I believe it was Frankie Boyle who said they didn't get free milk in school in Scotland anyway, although I may be making things up); somehow greatly damaged the mining industry; and ruined the public trains, which are apparently still terrible.


Hence the 'milk snatcher Thatcher' thing. I think that happened everywhere.

Given that her reign ended shortly before I was born, I can't really say that much because I wasn't actually there. However, I have studied it a little bit (which usually counts for nought compared to actually living through the whole thing) and have been brought up in an area that still hasn't recovered from her time in power. Opinions on her vary widely, so far as I can tell. The vast majority of people that I know consider her an evil, reprehensible hag who clung onto power by manufacturing a war over the Falklands just in time for a general election and thanks to the main political opposition being in complete turmoil - see Michael Foot's Labour Party manifesto, described as 'the longest suicide note in history'. However, some people did rather well out of her time in power and they're quite fond of her. People who were in the armed forces at the time seem to really like her, as she set them up with good pensions and good wages. On the other hand, unemployment reached levels previously unheard of and that weren't reached again until John Major took Thatcherism to its logical conclusion (phrase shamelessly stolen from a politics lecturer) in the 90s, as well as riots across the country. I've heard a few people begrudgingly admit that something needed to be done about the Trade Unions, but that the way she then went about systematically destroying industry in anywhere that wasn't the South-East of England was nothing short of a personal vendetta.

Then again, I thought/think that Tony Blair was as good a Prime Minister as there's been since Clement Attlee, so what do I know?
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby EsBe » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:43 pm

I live in a region serviced by Amtrak, so I wish I could say I have never been on a train. :P

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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby EvilJekyll » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:26 pm

It's hard for me to imagine not having been on a train, since I live near The City and there are railroad tracks that go through my city in several places. I suppose it's kind of like the canals that were once very popular, yet now there is only a small park dedicating where one used to be in my city, despite canals still being in existence through the late 50s here.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby fanelian » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:44 pm

I had never been on a train until I visited NY. I liked it.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby MysticalDescent » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:26 am

James wrote:
ntw3001 wrote:It was her government (and, I believe, the one following her) that privatised the railways. Turns out that results in abandonment of unprofitable stations, tracks being taken up, price increases and overcrowding. Train companies don't have to supply a good service for a decent price. Commuters can't exactly be picky about which train company they use; they pick the one that serves their local branch line (long-distance trains are nicer, because customers making a one-off journey from a major hub can feasibly make a choice). If driving isn't an option (for whatever reason), there's no alternative. They privatised an industry in which profits don't depend on quality of service.

Yeah, that's kind of the essential problem with privatising the trains: it isn't very practical to have multiple networks offering the same service, but without that competition there isn't much incentive to provide a more desirable service. Comparing the cost of train travel in the UK to that on the continent is depressing, in my experience. In Austria we were able to travel all around Vienna for three days for a few euros each.

Lots of people really hate using public transport, but I really don't mind it. I just wish it wasn't so outrageously expensive.


I don't think I've seen anybody actually choose which train service they're going use to make a journey. I've only ever seen people get a ticket that takes them from x to y and to then do that via whatever train happens to be in the station first.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby Binkatron5000 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:20 am

I, too, don't have any conscious memory of being on a train. Apparently I was on one somewhere in Europe as a baby.
Where I am, there are lots of trains, but they are full of grain. Passenger trains are pretty rare and more of a novelty for special events than anything. I think out east passenger trains are more of an option, but I could be mistaken.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby ntw3001 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 8:00 pm

MysticalDescent wrote:
James wrote:
ntw3001 wrote:It was her government (and, I believe, the one following her) that privatised the railways. Turns out that results in abandonment of unprofitable stations, tracks being taken up, price increases and overcrowding. Train companies don't have to supply a good service for a decent price. Commuters can't exactly be picky about which train company they use; they pick the one that serves their local branch line (long-distance trains are nicer, because customers making a one-off journey from a major hub can feasibly make a choice). If driving isn't an option (for whatever reason), there's no alternative. They privatised an industry in which profits don't depend on quality of service.

Yeah, that's kind of the essential problem with privatising the trains: it isn't very practical to have multiple networks offering the same service, but without that competition there isn't much incentive to provide a more desirable service. Comparing the cost of train travel in the UK to that on the continent is depressing, in my experience. In Austria we were able to travel all around Vienna for three days for a few euros each.

Lots of people really hate using public transport, but I really don't mind it. I just wish it wasn't so outrageously expensive.


I don't think I've seen anybody actually choose which train service they're going use to make a journey. I've only ever seen people get a ticket that takes them from x to y and to then do that via whatever train happens to be in the station first.


Well people don't bother to choose because there's very little difference between services, but the reason for that is that the possibility of choice forces a higher minimum standard. If Virgin Rail decided to furnish every carriage with a live bear, that would probably be enough to encourage potential customers to seek alternate routes (depending on the ferocity of the bears). Commuters, though, well who cares. You get bears now, and in addition: fork you. And we're raising prices to cover bear tax.

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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby Skimba » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:02 am

I would have never had as much fun in downtown Philly when I was younger if there were no trains. Drinking and a safe ride! (Amongst many other things there is)South Street, for fucks sake! Wait...there's a website now? I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
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In Denver there's something called the "light-rail', which is a local running train-thing. It expanded areas within the last couple years and planning to expand more (to the airport - whoo!). Come to Colorado and ride a train folks!!

This post is not a complaint or whine.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby jvcc » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:52 am

Skimba wrote:This post is not a complaint or whine.

I guess this thread has really been derailed.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby James » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:47 pm

jvcc wrote:I guess this thread has really been derailed.

fork.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby Judas Maccabeus » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:13 pm

jvcc wrote:
Skimba wrote:This post is not a complaint or whine.

I guess this thread has really been derailed.


Are you saying we've lost our train of thought?
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby James » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:30 am

fork.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby Skimba » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:02 am

Is that an order? 'Cause I'm at work right now and my options are not good.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby jvcc » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:27 pm

Skimba wrote:Is that an order? 'Cause I'm at work right now and my options are not good.

Perhaps you should conduct yourself to a more suitable location for lovemaking.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby ntw3001 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:14 pm

Can we whine about train puns in the whine and complain thread? It's becoming a pressing issue.

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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby James » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:22 pm

jvcc wrote:Perhaps you should conduct yourself to a more suitable location for lovemaking.

FUUUUUUUUCK
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby jvcc » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:53 pm

You're right, you're right. Let's get back on track and start whining and complaining again.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby EvilJekyll » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:58 pm

James rides the F train.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby Zombie Protestor » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:23 pm

I'll try to see if I can engineer some more suitable topic, but I don't want to be railroaded into a discussion with people that just want to blow off steam. Whatever loco motive you have for swearing, or whatever you're railing against, we don't want posts along that line here.
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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby ntw3001 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:40 pm

That's enough Zombie.

You're getting above your... uh, no, I can't. sorry guys. Train puns are over now.

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Re: A whine and complain thread

Postby MysticalDescent » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:58 pm

At least nobody has gone so low as to say something about choo-choo-ing it over.
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