Thursday, 27 May 2010

Taking the Adle out of Adlestrop

Having travelled a few miles on disused or converted Railway Tracks over the last couple of months (Tissington Trail Derbyshire, Coast to Coast Trail Northumberland, Pingo Trail in Norfolk (pictured)) I never fail to pick up a pleasant vibe from these lovely old pre-Beeching routes which snake across the Country using bridges, tunnels and embankments to maintain easy levels. At this time of year they often make me think of my favourite poem.

It occured to me that the difference between Train travel and Car Transport is essentially political.

Cars are the ultimate manifestation of right-wing "freedom of the individual". The ability to step into one's own personal space at one's own personal front door and drive anywhere in the Country is a bit like our version of the National Rifle Association - cars can be just as lethal as an assault rifle after all. We can be highly competetive on main roads with other "individuals" as we exert our "freedom", wafting a raised finger at the rest of them as we strive to get ahead of the pack. We love Jeremy Clarkson and the "peds" and cyclists can all go hang.

Trains, on the other hand, are a left wing, communal ideal whereby society gets together and sets up a system for everybody to travel together, all at the same pace and on equal terms. Obviously you need the fare in the first place (and MP's would have to have a special First Class Carriage!) but the feeling of society coming together and working together is far more pronounced with rail travel. It's also greener in terms of fuel efficiency.

Why can't we properly re-nationalize the Rail System in this Country, decide to invest in proper new infrastructure for the long term and tell Clarkson to clear off to Texas where his true heart is. We may have to tell him to take Bob Crowe and his mates with him.

11 comments:

Richard said...

They have started to re-nationalise it, didn't they sell the Arriva East Coast stuff to Deutsche Bundesbahn? OK, so it's not owned by our government...

Vicus Scurra said...

Yes, yes, yes.

Sarah said...

That's it am convinced you are a marxist now

Dave said...

They should dig up the roads and lay rail tracks there.

And let us have our own little (say 4 seater) locomotives, so that we can make the journeys we want to make, when we want to make them.

Timorous Beastie said...

When I am king, cars shall be crushed. By trains. and then stamped on by angry cyclists.

Madame DeFarge said...

I still enjoy travelling by train, but it tends to be spoilt by Nicholas Winterton.

Rog said...

Richard: At least they might make the trains run on time.... er...

Vicus: Calm down young man.

Sarah: I'm a big fan of Harpo.

Dave: That's typical of a Top Gear groupie!

Timorous: Yay! I'm going to buy shares in puncture repair outfits.

Madame: I thought he travelled with a totally different type of person?

Scarlet Blue said...

Trains are a nice theory. They would be lovely if every passenger could have his/her own compartment. And nice sandwiches. And clean loos. And not have to listen to banal mobile phone conversations. etc.
Sx

Rog said...

Scarlett: You mean it's not like Adlestrop and the Railway Children any more? I'm a delusional Marxist now!

Scarlet Blue said...

It's all strop these days.
Sx

Z said...

And the LibDems would argue with the driver, saying that he's not going where he thought they would and he should go in the other direction, even if the track there is falling apart, and they'll never use his train again.