I used to love train travel – but it has become an inexcusable rip-off | Rebecca Nicholson
Five hours on a train enjoying the view and listening to music is much better than chucking another car on the road. It shouldn’t be a luxury
There are two places I call “home”. There is home, the place where I grew up, where my family still lives and where I know people to say hello to in the supermarket. Then there is home, the place where I live now, where I work, where my friends live and where I have built my own existence. It gets confusing, at least linguistically: “I am going home – I will be home in a couple of days.” And like a lot of other people who split themselves in this way, for years and years I spent countless hours on trains, shuttling up and down the country, between the two lives.
These days, though, I hardly ever catch the train. I say catch, but the idea of simply catching a train for a journey outside the city suggests a carefree, last-minute freedom that has long since evaporated into weeks of planning and negotiating increasingly baroque riffs on the words “off” and “peak”, in the hope of being charged less than a return flight to somewhere far warmer than Lincolnshire. This week Labour released a report that called overcrowding on railways “a national disgrace” and noted that fares are up by 27% since 2010. Passengers are, says Labour MP Andy McDonald, “paying through the nose for the dubious privilege of being crammed into ever-fuller trains”.
Source: Guardian Transport
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