A new public train body is to be called Great British Railways and people are rolling their eyes.
In its latest act of patriotism, the government has opted to christen the body – which will oversee the railway industry – “Great British”, creating concern that all trains will be draped in Union flags and will only serve tea and scones.
What’s going on?
Great British Railways – which will absorb Network Rail – will own and manage rail infrastructure, issue contracts to private firms to run trains, set most fares and timetables, and sell tickets. It will be GREAT and also BRITISH and will run from 2023.
The government calls Great British Railways – which will have an updated version of British Rail’s double arrow as its logo – “a single, familiar brand with united, accountable leadership”.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It will become a single familiar brand with a bold new vision for passengers – of punctual services, simpler tickets and a modern and green railway that meets the needs of the nation.”
Local leaders will be “given greater control over local ticketing, timetables and stations”.
Reacting on Twitter, some people didn’t care about what this meant for their train fares and all other logistics as they were just thoroughly embarrassed by the branding:
Why, oh why "*Great* British Railways"? We don't want the label "great". We just want great railways. This is plain… https://t.co/pejonFloH5— David Head (@David Head) 1621460273
"Great British Railways"? fuck's sake— Jonn Elledge (@Jonn Elledge) 1621495167
@JonnElledge Everything British now have to have "great in front of it. Didn't you get the memo?— Mother of Dragon aka I told you this would happen (@Mother of Dragon aka I told you this would happen) 1621495424
sorry but Great British Railways is a cringe name that’s clearly an attempt to come up with someting that isn’t Bri… https://t.co/EwUYx1KYr2— Jon Stone (@Jon Stone) 1621418005
Others joked that it reminded them of a Michael Portillo documentary series, Great British Railway Journeys:
'Welcome to your Great British Railways service from Liverpool to Hull, it will take five hours, include two change… https://t.co/cmKeLpJRLk— Liam Thorp (@Liam Thorp) 1621497768
Hearing reports on who the new head of Great British Railways is... https://t.co/GBXaKcx2Yq— Cakes & Ale (@Cakes & Ale) 1621463220
Oh god. Even the replacement for Network Rail sounds like a TV series hosted by Michael Portillo. Just stick ‘Great… https://t.co/r8JgJeazHX— Caroline Goldsmith (@Caroline Goldsmith) 1621493828
The Great British Rail thing looks like a good idea. Pity they called it that though because it makes it sound like… https://t.co/blMfJnxkr0— Otto English (@Otto English) 1621498051
This government is obsessed with Britain. Well, obviously. It is the government that oversaw Brexit, planted flags absolutely everywhere it could. We wouldn’t be surprised is Boris Johnson’s ringtone was the national anthem, and it must be going off a lot considering his phone number is online.
But this branding really takes the Great British Biscuit.
We can only imagine that Great British Railways will be so exciting, that taking a train from London to Didcot will now be akin to a Thorpe Park rollercoaster.
Anyway, we’ll have to wait until 2023 – when it’s expected to be established – to find out.