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.