If only there were people capable of joined up, adult, thinking when they decide they’d like to come and rule us. There being two lovely examples here in Germany at present. One is the idea that domestic flights are superfluous – superfluous to whom lady? The second the idea that first class train carriages should be abolished. An act that would mean that any and every expansion of the high speed train network would be ruled uneconomic forever. Joined up thinking is actually important.
Riexinger’s proposal follows a suggestion made last month by Luise Neubauer, of the environmental movement FridaysForFuture (FFF). She proposed a ban on domestic air travel in Germany, describing it as superfluous, and said people should be encourage to travel by train instead.
Again, superfluous to whom? Those who take the flights rather than the train obviously disagree. So who the hell are you to tell them they are wrong?
This before we think about the insane nationalism of this. Rostock to Munich must be by train, while Munich to Salzburg can be by plane? It’s fine to fly from Fussen to Pinswang, not from Lindau to Flensburg? Ah, we’ll be told, but we can deal with that by consideration, thought, we’ll be sensible. At which point who will be sensible? How about the people doing the travelling?
But worse than that nonsense is this:
A leading leftwing politician has sparked a row in Germany by proposing the rail operator Deutsche Bahn scraps first-class carriages to reduce overcrowding and improve energy efficiency. Bernd Riexinger, the co-leader of Die Linke party, said having two classes of travel in regional trains in particular made no sense when the emphasis should be on energy efficiency and making rail travel more accessible.
The economic justification for any expansion – especially high speed such – of a rail network is that the time of the first class passengers is worth more than that of the proles. Or, perhaps, those travelling for work is worth more than those doing so for leisure. Once you take out that value of the time of the first class passengers – or value it at the same as the cattle class – then there is no economic justification at all for the new service or line. HS 2 fails on exactly this – take out the value of the time of the first class passengers and it’ll not be built at all.
So, Mr. Lefty. You saying there should be no more fast trains ever?