JULIAN WORTH argues that today’s railway should learn from British Rail’s cost-cutting prowess
It is now beyond question that the railway will look very different going forward. Freight has almost fully recovered and was running at over 98% of budgeted levels by October 2020, with good prospects for growth in future years. In complete contrast, passenger volumes, having recovered to a little over 35%, were on the decline again in the face of renewed Covid restrictions.
In truth, no-one knows what the future will hold but, even with a vaccine, it seems highly unlikely that passenger volumes will return to pre-existing levels in the next five years at least. It is clear, however, that the impact varies significantly between different markets.