Zombie railway stumbles on


East Coast express: LNER loco No 91107 powers the 12.45 Leeds to King’s Cross across the bridge over the river Idle at Retford on 8 April 2023. Rob France

‘There’s clearly a lot of frustration in this industry and a widespread desire to end the sense of drift’.Well, that quote could have come from many people on the railway right now, but it was said by Secretary of State forTransport Mark Harper during the George Bradshaw Address on 7 February.

The Bradshaw Address was supposed to be the moment of decision, the call to arms, the start of the next chapter for the railway. After the lecture, it was clear some senior railway figures doubted whether the Secretary of State’s words would lead to serious action. Unfortunately, they have been proved right.

Yes, some of the promises made by Mr Harper have been delivered. He did indeed announce the location of the headquarters for Great British Railways back in March. The trial of single leg pricing on LNER has just been expanded to all flows priced by the operator.

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