The Railway Closure Controversy
Nationalised railways had a bad image - often based on anecdote: "Don't bother me with the facts, my mind is made up". In contrast, is the stoical toleration of increased complaints to private sector railways and punctuality statistics below 100%. despite missing advertised calls, breaking connections and excluding delays due to "circumstances beyond our control", an excuse reserved for the private sector. From Day One, managers of nationalised railways were besieged with criticism and advice.
Closures attracted a disproportionate share of criticism and unqualified advice, which was flawed and usually came alter announcement of a closure proposal. Criticism bordered on paranoia. Attempts to rid railways of dead wood were delayed and undermined by objectors - any of whom were not users - and by public inquiries and ministerial decision. In all cases not one company. one person nor one local authority guaranteed to make increased use of a threatened line. There were hints that a reduction of charges may lead to more traffic. However, they were losing money at existing charges which were below the rate of inflation. No one offered to back their theories with money. All wanted uneconomic lines to remain open as a standby to use when other transport failed, even when no subsidy would be paid. Ironically, agriculture in all these areas, and industry in some, received Government subsidies ! Councils were prepared to fund amateurs using free labour, to "re-open" a line which would not provide a full service.
Closures are examined from a new perspective. New details are revealed of the work of Transport Users Consultative Committees, which were, often, wrongly perceived as having a judicial standing on closures. The main planks of objection are enumerated, and the relevance and practicality of proposed alternatives considered.
Ten cases which hit the headlines are examined. Brief reviews of their histories show that they struggled to compete with the horse. They varied in length from five to 180 miles: Alston branch. "Bluebell line", Brightlingsea branch. Isle of Wight railways, Princetown branch, Midland & Great Northern line, Potteries Loop line, Somerset & Dorset line, Stainmore & Eden Valley lines and Westerham branch. Objectors did not deny that the lines were losing money. and would continue to do so. even if amateur theories were implemented. Invariably, they claimed that modernisation would reduce losses, which was not synonymous with viability, but they ignored the cost and sourcing of new capital. External experts were quoted. some, anonymously. Their theories are examined, evaluated and costed with devastating results. Wisely, most critics and self appointed advisors confined "plans" to vague generalisations. and avoided costing investment and forecasting a return on capital.
The public, who believed that the generous handouts to the new boys would preserve the rail network at its existing level, are now learning that closures are possible.
Softback, 240 pages
Condition: Good/Very Good
Most orders are dispatched within two-three working days of receipt of cleared payment. If there is going to be a significant delay (more than 10 working days), we will contact you and, where possible, give you an estimated dispatch time.
Please be aware that advance orders will be sent as soon as the relevant book has been published.
When placing your order, please ensure that you add the correct full shipping address to your order. This includes house number, street name, zip code/post code. If parcels are returned on account of an incorrect shipping address we will contact you to seek the correct address and also ask that you pay a contribution towards posting the parcel to you a second time. Similarly, if a parcel is returned to us because the local mail service is unable to deliver it (or you do not collect it from the designated collection point), we will contact you and ask you for a contribution towards the cost of shipping to you for a second time.
All orders for UK addresses are normally sent via Royal Mail 48 Hour (the business equivalent of 2nd class mail) which is not tracked although Royal Mail do confirm delivery of parcels. Orders of £27.50 and over are sent post free while shipping for orders under £27.50 is charged at £1.70 for orders under 500g or £2.10 for other orders. If you require tracking for your order, tracking & courier options are available for a small fee. The appropriate shipping option can be selected as part of the checkout process. If the service that you require is not shown, please get in touch with us and we can quote for your desired service.
Large, bulky or high value orders may be split in to multiple consignments or sent via courier. There is no additional charge for this and you will be advised at the order fulfillment stage if this happens.
Overseas orders are charged based on weight, and postage will be automatically calculated at checkout. For a postage quotation, please add the items you want to your cart and proceed to the checkout. All orders are usually sent via Air Mail - this is not tracked. If you required your order to be tracked or sent by a different service, please contact us, preferably before checkout.
Royal Mail will only accept parcels up to 5kg in weight (2kg for Canada). If you are ordering multiple items that exceed these limits, please contact us first so that we can advise you of the appropriate shipping rate.
Due to the high volume of parcels going missing, we are no longer able to send untracked orders via third party mail handling services such as Parcel Motel. We are able to send untracked parcels to bona fide PO Box addresses, friends and family members and to work addresses.
Some countries charge import taxes and other taxes such as VAT; we suggest that in these cases, you asked for your order to be tracked so the local taxation authorities can trace your parcel.
Please note that courier services are unable to deliver to PO Box addresses. If you usually use a PO Box address, you will need to supply an alternative address if you require shipping by courier.
Shipping to the European Union
From 1 July 2021, all EU countries will be imposing VAT on all imports. In the UK, books are zero-rated for VAT proposes so there is no VAT to deduct from the prices quoted on our website. All of our orders are usually sent "DDU" (Delivered Duty Unpaid) using a courier service and the shipping prices quoted are on a DDU basis. However, we are now able to offer limited "DDP" (Delivered Duty Paid) services to certain EU destinations. If you would like to purchase books on a DDP basis, please contact us before making your purchase and we will give you a DDP price.
Therefore all DDU shipments to EU destinations will be held by the relevant customs authority until the customer pays any VAT that is due. We understand that if no payment is received by the relevant customs authority after 30 days, the package will be either returned or destroyed. Rail-Books will not be liable for any loss resulting from the destruction or return of goods where VAT has not been paid.
We recommend that customers in the EU follow the tracking data supplied to them once we dispatch your parcel and once the parcel is showing as arriving in the destination country, make contact with either the postal or customs authorities to pay the appropriate amounts of tax/duty.
On rare occasions, parcels will be returned to us. Where this happens we will refund the customer the cost of their order less any expenses incurred by ourselves (e.g. the initial cost of sending the parcel or costs relating to damage incurred in transit). If a customer requests that a parcel be shipped again for a second time, we request the customer to place a repeat order together with shipping costs. Repeat orders to UK customers will not be eligible for free shipping.
Updated: 29 December 2022