Monday, October 19, 2009

2 Facts about trains

While listening to "The Bottom Line" a BBC business podcast I heard some information that both shocked and appalled me regarding trains. They may just shock and appall you also.

The UK Chief Executive of Bombardier, the Canadian based airplane and train manufacturer, was being quizzed on the ins and outs of the train manufacturing arm of the company and was asked to estimate in rough terms how much a train costs the buyer.

The answer? 1 MILLION POUNDS! and that's PER carriage! It is therefore little wonder that train operators are doing so abysmally in these rough times. Let's imagine that you want to buy a brand new 8 carriage train for a busy route, that's an instant £8 million you have to recoup to break even... absurd.

The second fact, which quite amused me, was that because of the lack of foresight on the part of the nice folk who built England's (and presumably Ireland's) train infrastructure, we can only have trains of a certain height (too low) and width (not wide enough). Anything in excess of what they thought we would need in the 1800's would simply scrape off the sides of tunnels etc. resulting in what we can only presume would be a rough journey. That is why everyone trains often feel far too cramped...

So there you are, 2 interesting train related facts.


Andy Mcfarlane said...

This reminds me actually of a radio show I heard a few years ago with the then-boss of Irish Rail discussing the continuous landslide problems around Killiney/Dalkey and the problem of having our main South trainline running alongside the DART on the same line and the guy (can't remember a name) basically said it was our ancestors fault for not being better engineers and the host asked 'So you're pretty much blaming some Vikings hundreds of years ago?' to which the guy responded...
'Well I suppose I am yeah...'

Ed said...

Hmmm Im not sure the vikings built that, or any, trainline. I would probably blame that on the English.

Although when I say BLAME, I think I use that term loosely, I can imagine had Irish workers built it... it would probably be worse, and still not finished