The Great British Train Scandal

Hear from experts and insiders who blow the whistle on the state of the rail industry today.

British railways are in a right old state.

In this episode we hear from experts and insiders who blow the whistle on the shambles that is the rail industry.

Flying is not only quicker but cheaper than train travel. In this episode two friends both make their way from Bristol to Edinburgh, one by plane and one by train.  The plane traveler arrives within a couple of hours while the train traveler endures cancelled connections, a two hour delay, broken toilets and a trolley cart that can’t make it down the train because so many people are having to sit in the aisles.  It costs her £214.70 to arrive 7 hours later than her friend who paid £148 to fly.

The trains are not profitable anyway and according to expert Tom Haines-Doran, the government subsidises our train companies to the tune of £14billion a year, with some experts estimating private companies are making a combined profit of £300m.  Given that 60% of trains are run by overseas train operators the money is going into their country’s infrastructure rather than ours.

In one farcical example, in order to keep the tracks open some trains are being run only once a week in one direction.  

Think they are the safe option? Think again.  In 2020 there have been 408 accidents and a third of rail network safety inspections are overdue. We visit the site of a landslide in Oxfordshire which has left a bridge in a state of near collapse and the line closed.

On the Tube, our scientist finds traces of salmonella, E Coli and MRSA as well as human faeces.  But most shocking of all, are the levels of air pollution.  Our reporter, Callum Marius takes his micro particle reader underground to discover levels 32 times higher than the World Health Organization’s safe limit. 

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