Rail Warrants - War Profiteering?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by rampant, Jun 7, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Ok, I have done a little search for this and can't find anything. But I am sure this is an issue you all have encounterd over the years. It is an issue that has been bugging me for a while

    A few years back I was issued my first Rail Warrant, in order to attend my briefing at Westbury. Being decidely poor in a crap paid job, this was great. No paying for rail tickets for me, brilliant.

    Being the organised good little boy I am, I decided to get my ticket early, taking advantage of the lower fares offered by booking early (the army will like that shows initiative, and responsibility saves them money, good drills laddie). So off I toddle to Glasgow Queen Street to buy my ticket:

    Return to Westbury, please.

    Certainly Sir that will be £X, says the nice girl at the counter believing me to be Joe Public.

    Oh that's fine I have a Rail Warrant, says I, rather enjoying the fact that I didn't haveto hand over my own money.

    Ah, she replies, In that case it will be £Z

    Now £Z happened to be some £50-£60 pounds more than the price Iwould have paid if I had done so out of my own pocket (either by cash or card)

    A close relative of mine, managing to acquire a Rail Warrant for travel from Newcastle to London, found that the cost of his ticket went up by £70 odd once he mentioned that he was using a Warrant.

    Now I don't know about you but to me this smacks of war profiteering, Joe Public gets price £X whilst the MoD have to stump up the full whack. Think of the number of Warrants that are issued every year, all those extra £30, £50, £70s that get added on all add up. It must run into hundreds of thousands of pound, several millions over the course of a couple of years.

    This money comes from the MoD budget, money that could be better spent on equipment, vehicles, proper medical and health provision for military personnel. Personally I find this scandalous, but to some it may seem small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, where money is wasted left right and centre.

    So I ask you the great assembly of Arrse, what are your experiences of this, and next time you get issued a Rail Warrant can you get on record the price they offered you "as a civilian" and then what they charge on the Warrant?

    Should the Warrant Scheme be scrapped and replaced with an expenses style arrangement, whre we pay it ourselves and then get reimbursed later?

    Should legislation be passed preventing this sort of profiteering illegal, that rail companies must offer the same rates to the MoD as they would Joe Public at the time of buying the ticket?

    Or are the Rail Comapnies morally within their rights to charge the full price, after all it's good business?

    What do you think?

    Oh and here's a link to the wiki entry on War profiteering:

  2. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    Off hand IIRC it states on the warrant that it should be via the cheapest available route, but that will probably not include savers etc.

    But I stand to be corrected by more up to date admin wallahs!
  3. I was going to say that face value of the ticket might not be what the MOD pay, and that the full value is of statistical interest to somebody (Maybe somebody in the MOD pockets the difference)

    But since it says 'via the cheapest available route' it probably is war profiteering. Rail fares are already extortionate and the highest in the EU, which is why the rail companies spend so much on revenue officers, and even now have criminal law to enforce them. Utterly charmless jobsworth bastards.

    I get a 34% discount on my rail travel purchased through my employer, but its still cheaper to run a 1.8ltr car. Quicker and less stressful too

    The railways are a Victorian anachronism that should be scrapped. They aren't even carbon neutral anymore
  4. The rail warrant is in the process of being killed off. We used to get a very substantial discount, but the train companies stopped providing it, and now its just a means of paying for a normal ticket. A warrant is a means of getting a normal standard price ticket now with no discounts.

    You should be booking all rail travel via Hogg Robinson Group, or online (try online - doing it via HRG is a 25 minute wait on an 0844 number). Rail warrant books are no longer being issued.
  5. Rail travel a Victorian anachronism? Not in this overpolluted world... it's the way of the future.
    I wish they'd revive, improve and expand the system in the USA. I have fond memories of British Railways... even after Beeching's axe.

    BTW if rail warrants are being phased out what is the alternative for the squaddie without a car?
  6. msr

    msr LE

    Buy a ticket and claim it back on JPA, I would guess.

  7. I thought exactly the same thing last time I travelled from Birmingham to Portsmouth Harbour. The cheapest available ticket is a £62.00 open return but when I handed over my warrant the bloke behind the counter rang it through at over double that. Whatever it is, it smacks of theft from the taxpayer - as if the already bloated ticket prices aren't enough for the train companies. Pure greed.
  8. normal whenI got my first warrant-1986!
    not war profertering,just greed and stupidity from civil servants.
    hey same pay for good job versus bad job-what do you think will happen.
    was civil sevant in 1975-crap job and sooooo stopuid.
    forget it-until the revolution comrade we are buggered-taxpayer pays and pays and pays.
  9. With spelling and punctuation, not to mention syntax like yours, I'd be very surprised if you were ever a civil servant. There maybe stupidity in the civil service, but you can find that anywhere. Greed however is found in the private sector in abundance. Look at the banks, never mind the rail companies. An inflated rail warrant isn't going to make an extra penny for any civil servant in the MOD or any railway employee. However the train company's shareholders and chief exec will be fcuking raking it in!
  10. Mongo

    Mongo LE Reviewer

    If I recall correctly, someone's ticket (got with a warrant) from Horsham to Lancaster last year was in the region of several hundred pounds.

    It would have cost less than £5 to send him to Redhill, then up through London, but he was sent on an extremely roundabout route..
  11. Service to the Crown matters not a jot, in the rip off capital of Europe.
    Armed forces minimum fares have jumped by 50% from £8 to £12. Add to that the highest rail fares and worst trains/service.

    Warrants may be little more than blank cheques for fat controllers on platforms. "Buff Hoon" is a useless cnut.
  12. Whats more, if you hand over your rail warrant to guard to sell you a ticket, he'll get commission on that sale. Blinding or what?
  13. Was once told that money from the sales on warrants (and troop trains, and it must be 30+ years since they ran) was what underwrote the armed forces railcard.

    But they withdrew that didn't they?

  14. "The Daily Telegraph reported that the (ex-Transport Secretary) switched his second home in a way which allowed him to improve his family home in Derbyshire at taxpayers' expense before buying a London townhouse, and that he did not pay capital gains tax when he sold his London home in 2006. He denies any wrongdoing. "

    ""I had the honour as Secretary of State for Defence of working closely with our armed forces, the bravest and the best, maintaining as they do at all times the very highest standards of professionalism and commitment," he wrote in his resignation. What a pity he did almost nothing for them.