Immense effort is expended by the likes of the Office for Rail Regulation, Transport Statistics Great Britain and the Office of National Statistics in generating extensive time series data for the various measures of passenger numbers, freight activity, performance and much more. Unfortunately, the sheer volume and complexity of the data are such as to confound ready analysis but a combination of normalization with the use of Simplex diagrams has the potential to reveal some key correlations and trends in a highly visual manner. This will be used to assess the impact of the key strategic initiatives of recent times – Nationalization (1947), the Beeching Axe (1963), Privatization (1993) – and also the effects of various major projects – e.g. High Speed Trains (1970s), the Channel Tunnel (1994) and the Total Route Modernization (1990s). Is the evidence consistent with genuine strategic management or was there just rudderless “drift” as the roads and car ownership expanded following the Transports Act of 1947, 1953, 1962, 1985 and 2000? What resulted from Southall (1997), Ladbroke Grove (1999) and Hatfield (2000)? In its thankfully short existence was the Strategic Rail Authority (2001-2006) ever strategic let alone authoritative? What is happening now and what might happen in the future
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