1 Feb 2011

Wrexham and Shropshire closes

The Wrexham and Shropshire service closed last week, despite having the highest satisfaction rating (99%) of all train operating companies.

The service had been operated with push-pull mark 3 coaches powered by class 67 diesel locomotives. The reasons for the failure of this venture will no doubt be argued over but the main factor seems to be that the alternative routes were quicker and there was little scope for competition. The territory on the Welsh borders north of Wolverhampton is thinly populated and was never going to generate much traffic.

I would not be surprised to see the stock redeployed very soon on a service between London and Birmingham. There are substantial towns along this route, including High Wycombe, Banbury and Leamington Spa. The prospects for business are altogether better. Moor Street station has recently been refurbished and well located so long as one does not want to change trains to travel on from New Street.

1 comment:

  1. I think the reason it closed was because ultimately it wasn't financially viable. (though some have pointed out that the W&S received no subsidy whilst the main capacity provider did) The same problem applies to many other lines in the UK.

    The problem generally economically is duplication of resources - ie it never going to be viable to have trains duplicating what many people already have cars to do. There's only so much money to go around and once the average person has spent ~?thousands£ a year on a car there is only a little left for occasional journeys. Large infrastructure like railways only makes (capitalist economic) sense when a majority uses it. The alternative is a primarily freight only railway - operated on actual financial rather than on emotional desires. Or. Public funding.

    An exception where this is the case is when cars (or public transport) cannot provide an equivalent service - eg commuting into London - simply not enough parking/road capacity.