Tickets please

At the start of the 1960s, the majority of travel was still done by train. This was about to change: an increase in disposable income combined with a decrease in the cost of cars; the car building industry employed more people than the railways and had more businesses depending on them; cars could be readily exported, trains only rarely. After 100 years of focussing on the railways, the government turned to cars as a driver, as it were, of the economy and as a measure of popular prosperity.

The railways suffered under this change of direction, not helped by Dr Beeching closing a third of the network. At the same time, British Railways fought back with electrification schemes, a whole new brand called “British Rail” marked with the definitive UK logo of the 20th century and an array of special offers and cheap travel options.

Here’s an offer for a day return to London from Liverpool in 1966/7 for just £3 – that’s £52 in modern money. The same journey with Virgin Trains now costs £156 (£9 in 1966 money).

Image source: http://ageofthetrain.retropia.co.uk/

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