Back in 1981 a series of TV adverts featuring Jimmy Savile proclaimed “This is The Age Of The Train” – and with ever rising oil prices the age of the train has never gone away. That said, thanks to John Major the taxpayer now hands over far more in subsidies to private train company shareholders each year than it would have cost to run British Rail as a public amenity on the French or German model.
But those adverts show that 30 years ago BR fares weren’t as low as you might imagine. An Awayday ticket from Birmingham to Liverpool is shown at £7.80 – whereas today theadvance fare would be £18. And that 1981 price in today’s money, according to thisismoney.co.uk, would be £26.36.