There must be people who can speak with authority about railways. State owned? Private? Build more? Subsidise fares? Rip them all up?
I’m not one of them; all I can offer is opinion. Although clearly my opinion would be more important than anyone else’s.
But one thing is obvious: without exception privatisation has led to visual cacophony. Each company tries to out-dazzle the last and the result is the only unforgivable sin: crafted ugliness.
I had the privilege to stand in the concourse of Brussels Central Station this morning. A beautiful piece of modernism from, I assume, the 1950s – several squadrons of British and American bombers having conspired against the previous building. In its proportions, scale and fabric; a building of stature. A confident building, proud of its purpose and of the railway it represents. Built to last by a company thinking of the long term, not of the next quarter’s balance sheet.
And beautifully free of garishly competing corporate identities.
Buy me a drink and I’ll tell you some lies