Rail shame

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WHILE I have long supported Gordon Casely’s campaign ­(Letters, 31 January) for higher quality trains in Scotland, the problem is actually UK-wide.

Try catching a train from Edinburgh to Manchester, Crewe to Cardiff, Liverpool to Norwich or Manchester to Leeds and you will discover that woefully ­inadequate overcrowded trains are trundling on long journeys between major cities all across the UK.

The problem boils down to the power of the civil servants in Glasgow and London who prescribe the minimum standards to be achieved by the train operators, including rolling stock. They certainly know how to define “minimum” – just wait for the new electric trains on order for the Edinburgh and Glasgow to Manchester service to ­experience the next big disappointment.

As has been exposed by the West Coast Main Line franchise fiasco, these civil servants often have little knowledge of railway operation, but have substantial powers to impose their flawed decisions on the travelling ­public.

Sadly, our government ministers appear incapable of persuading their Sir Humphreys to deliver any real improvements to the quality of our rail journeys across the country.

Robert Drysdale

Primrose Bank Road