Friday, November 27, 2009

More Railways

In my previous post about Guided Bus vs Rail a commentator suggested I had carefully selected my rail case study. Actually, I had just picked one of the claimed successes at random.

If I really wanted to make the point that the problem with rail is that you have to find someone to fund the ongoing operating costs, the Cairngorm Funicular Railway would be a strong contender - from p30 of this week's Private Eye...

The funicular railway was finally taken into public ownership by HIE (Highlands and Islands Enterprise) last year to save it from going bust. "Although HIE hopes to find a new operator... that might prove difficult in the current economic climate" auditor-general Robert Black told the committee, warning members: "If HIE cannot establish a viable business model for the funicular, and it ceases to operate, HIE might have to reinstate the land, repay the EU's money and meet any other costs

Yes I know, there aren't that many hills between Cambridge and St Ives...


Frugal Dougal said...

It seems the only hills outside Cambridge are the ones I have to cycle over to get to work!

Brynley said...


In fairness, the mistake was yours. You chose Aidrie-Bathgate, a double track electrified rail line currently under construction rather than the Edinburgh-Bathgate service which has been open some time and has been an outstanding success, like all the rail reopenings in Britain.

The Cairngorm Funicular, poorly conceived, politically driven and hugely expensive is perhaps your comparator for the Cambridgeshire Guided Bus.

With best wishes,


Brynley (again) said...

It might be worth pointing out that the Cairngorm problem was a lack of snow which rather obviated the purpose of construction.

The Guided Bus problem is (will be) a lack of busway in Cambridge which leads to extended journey times and the unreliability of a mixed traffic transit system.