Flicking through the news websites I noticed that Lord Adonis is quoted a complaining about the train companies, much as I was some three days ago.

Speaking at a meeting at the Labour party conference he is quoted as saying “Train companies must not be allowed to degrade services once they have taken on a franchise”. This will ring true for anyone who travels by a train a lot as they have noticed and complained about how the service they are provided with has gone down hill as the years have passed.

In 2009 national express lost the right to run trains on the East Coast Mainline. the service that they were providing was even worse than any you can find on a normal train journey, which is saying a lot. Even though the fares where some of the highest in the country they were losing money hand over fist. And, as a last-ditch move to keep their trains running they considered taking away all catering on their trains.

On most long journeys it is fair to expect that there will be a catering carriage on the train, where you can expect to pay over the odds for a cup of coffee or a packet of crisps. Having a catering carriage when something happens to the line so your sat in the middle of no where is great as they often offer free cold drinks or in the case of one trip i took things from the fridge as they had lost power and needed to clear the perishables quickly.

Rightly the labour government said that wasnt good enough and took over the running of the service.

Lord Adonis also states that “their is nothing in teh francise agreements signed by the train operaters about proveding catering services” condisering that it can often take three hours to get from city to another i would have thought something as simple as catering would be set out in the francise agreement.

He talks about how governmet should step to keep the companies inline as they are currently running in effect regional monopolies. Which is very true, unlike other consumer based services you cant change which train provider you use as your stck with the one you’ve got thanks to how the system is run.

One last quote which i think sums up how most people feel. “we need a much more active, mch more professional state acting on behalf of the consumer and profound public interest.”

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