I’m not sure this is so true today. From NGF,,,,
Below I have a quote from a book I’m reading called Trains Unlimited by Tim Fischer which in turn is a quote from the UK Financial Times from 2004. A good point is made and you Britons should take heart from this notion. According to Fischer, Australia mostly follows the British tradition in these matters so we should be gladdened too.
It was later pointed out that….
So far as I can tell most Swiss trains aren’t particularly fast and have plenty of recovery time built into the timetable – that’s how you get things to run on time. I’m pretty sure that British trains have become more punctual in recent years due to increased recovery times – i.e. the timings have become more easily achieved and are less aspirational. My experience of commuting around the West Midlands a few years back was that the service was generally very good. When there was disruption it was often unavoidable.
Last time I was in Switzerland, about 5 years ago now, the service was pretty poor. Lots of delays on SBB, seemingly inexplicably. Certainly didn’t meet the stereotype!
I think our railways are generally pretty good. Like Chris, I find that delays are often wholly unavoidable. We have a very old network, running close to capacity, so the domino effect when anything goes wrong is pronounced.
To say nothing of….
This reminds me of the old Cold War-era joke that the US military was going to mount it’s nuclear arsenal on the back of Amtrak trains…and then leak the timetable to the Soviets.