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In the News

Why the East Coast rail franchise imploded

Graham Watson

20th May 2018

The excellent Gwyn Topham-Hatt writes in the Observer, highlighting the reason why the Virgin East Coast rail franchise collapsed. The company worked on the basis that passenger numbers were expected to continue to increase - showing the dangers of simply extrapolating from past trends into the future - and again raising the question whether private sector companies that make this sort of misjudgement should be effectively bailed out by the government.

In a supplementary article, Gwyn Topham extrapolates from the East Coast debacle to cast his eyes over other train operating companies (TOCs) and wonder whether four other franchises - TransPennine Express , Great Anglia, Northern and South West Railways are going to go the same way. It is a fascinating insight, and highlights the fact that, for the first time since rail privatisation, passenger numbers are falling. 

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to Tutor2U, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.

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