Sunday, March 07, 2010
A very depressing place to visit on a Sunday morning is Oxford Railway Station. No trains whatsoever going north (replaced by buses due to engineering work) and the next train south will be in one hour. Also note the absence of overhead power cables. Yes, that's right, it's 2010 and our "intercity" line hasn't even been electrified yet (planned for 2016, I believe - don't understand why they don't put the cables up on those Sundays when the line is closed anyway).
Never mind "High Speed 2," which may or may not materialise within the next 20 years (half a century delay compared to France), even the modernisations we saw in Germany around 1980 (intercity trains at least every hour (including on Sundays!), with guaranteed connection on the opposite side of the same platform) haven't arrived here. I'm afraid that taking a train pulled by an ancient diesel engine may not be all that much greener than taking a modern coach. But the most significant environmental cost of this mess is, of course,that most people take the plane to travel between Glasgow or Edinburgh and London.