Thursday, 6 April 2017

Japan Railways and First unveil 'Stockton & Darlington Railway' franchise


As First Group bring back 'GWR' and now 'LSWR', other iconic railway companies are making their return in the hands of foreign overlords.

The London & South Western Railway will be making a return in place of South West Trains with the relatively successful Stagecoach swept aside for those high achievers on the Great Western network 'FirstGroup', with their new friends and new scapegoat for the south 'MTR'.

How threatening can a group using an acronym be to the 371 fleet running into and out of our capital? The major landlord company of Hong Kong will no doubt make a big impression with the all new LSWR.

The 'brand' of LSWR was formerly a little known company from 1838. They just happened to electrify surburban lines and in their spare time rebuilt Waterloo Station, forming the groundwork for still the countries busiest railway station.

No pressure then.


We do wonder when the tradition of hawking past masterpiece company names will stop and new ideas and initiatives, without the word Virgin leading them will come to the fore. 

Have the FirstGroup tarnished the name 'Great Western Railway' already? Do we still instantly think of Brunel and huge cylinders? Or are our minds cast to huge queues, overfilled trains and compensation claims. 

FirstGroup are at it again in the East Midlands where they are bidding to shove out Stagecoach from another franchise, this time with friends in the Italian Government owned Trenitalia. We can swiftly presume that another well known name from the past will reappear at St Pancras to line up with other old brands dusted out from the archive.

Midland Railway return?
Now we all have our views on Railway Franchising, compelling arguments are made to convince us all that it isn't all a big pot of corporate greed handing over our railways to state owned companies from other countries to run a system that should be state owned. Does the clue that state owned railways from Italy and China putting in bids to take over franchises from the British Government not give them a clue that perhaps some thing is not quite right?

Italians and Landlords from Hong Kong are laughing all the way back to their own tax offices with our profits.

But perhaps the return of LSWR and the worrying future of 'Midland Railway' returning to St Pancras, owned by the Italian Government is almost trampling on railway history in a way that Dan Snow will be digging himself a trench between Kings Cross and St Pancras strapped to a British Bulldog turning the airwaves of BBC Four blue.

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