Trains fair

April 26, 1996

The sole repository of absolute truth is of course mathematics and the latest issue of Mathematics Today reveals another small step forward.

Barry Doe tells of a country whose rail service has trebled in quantity and halved in journey time since 1949, yet whose ticket prices for non-commuter services have dropped by more than a third. The country? Great Britain. Claims that fares are now extortionate are based on a false comparison - between open return fares in 1949 and 1993. But no one uses the open return nowadays except for business people before 9am.

Doe concludes: "Even forgetting Apex, buy a walk-on fare for standard class travel on any day bar Friday, for travel on virtually any train after the morning peak, and long-distance rail travel has never been cheaper."

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