Between the Lines

For many years, there has been little or no analysis of the profitability of existing routes on the network, although proposals for new infrastructure are of course looked at in much more detail. We do know the profitability of each franchise; at one end of the spectrum, Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) and South West Trains are profitable even after a full allocation of infrastructure costs, and Northern, Arriva Trains Wales and ScotRail remain heavily subsidised. But there’s no data to compare services within the same franchise, for example the relative financial performance of the Newquay branch vs London – Bristol.

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