It was an unhappy new year for commuters who discovered that the cost of subscriptions had risen by as much as 2,000 pounds in a decade, while punctuality plunged to the lowest level in 13 years.
The New Year celebrations for many travelers in the south of England were marked by another strike yesterday.
And the millions of people returning to work tomorrow will be hit by a new round of inflationary rate hikes.
Commuters found that the cost of season tickets had risen by as much as 2,000 pounds in a decade. (Image of London Euston Station)
The latest increase of up to 3.2 percent – described as a "kick in the teeth" for workers – will add more than £ 100 to the price of many annual tickets.
But a check by the Daily Mail has revealed the paralyzing increase in the price of long-distance rail journeys, imposing enormous pressure on household budgets.
Of the 44 seasonal ticket rates published by the independent Consumer Focus group, 18 have increased by more than £ 1,000 since 2009.
Commuters traveling the 78-mile journey between Swindon and London will see their subscription cost increase from 276 to 996 pounds from tomorrow.
This means that their annual rate is £ 2,168 more expensive than in 2009. The average commuter has seen the cost of his annual train journey of nearly £ 800 over the past decade.
The cost is eating further in available income. While the price of seasonal tickets rose 37% during this period, wages grew only by 22%.
The increase in tariffs also exceeded the official CPI inflation rate, which rose by 26.7 percent.
The last excursion comes after a year tormented by schedule chaos, strikes, engineering works and the worst punctuality since 2005, when Tony Blair was still in power – with one out of seven late services.
Yesterday, 730 out of 1,568 south-western rail services were canceled after the RMT militant union deliberately targeted New Year's revelers.
Members organized a 24-hour strike – the 30th strike day over the course of the year.
The long protest against the introduction of a fleet of Bombardier Class 701 trains that will allow drivers – rather than guards – to open and close the train doors if the guard is ill or does not show up for work.
A spokesman for the South Western Railway said: "The RMT continues to play politics with their ongoing strike action, causing suffering at a time when people want to be with friends and family to celebrate the new year.
"If the union really cares about passengers, it should put an end to these strikes and start helping to build a better railway."
Many of those affected by the largest tariff increases are those affected by the strikes.
Darren Shirley, CEO of Campaign for Better Transport, said: "Rail passengers have suffered an atrocious service in 2018 and this increase in fares will only increase their misery.
"The government's decision to move forward, despite a year of delays, cancellations and overcrowding, shows total disregard for passengers and can leave many people wondering what they are paying for."
Wes Streeting, a Labor MP and member of the treasury committee, added: "The passengers will be forced to pay more for what was a miserable service, it's a real kick in the teeth."
Blood on the tracks: a year of chaos for the miserable commuters
Snow during the Beast from the East and Storm Emma saw hundreds of cancellations last February and March.
The new timetable sketched in May saw up to 310 cancellations per day on Northern and 470 on Govia Thameslink. An independent report concluded that "nobody took the lead".
RMT organized 30 days of strikes on South Western and 42 days on Northern.
Overhead electrical cables collapse twice in two weeks in October.
The railway guard dog launched an action against Network Rail in November for not providing a "timely and reliable" service. On the same day, the former head Mark Carne collected a CBE.
The Crossrail line between East and West London was delayed indefinitely and gave an emergency rescue of £ 1.4 billion.
A negative report on the HS2 high-speed line found that the estimated cost for the purchase of land has tripled in three years to 3 billion pounds.
The increase, set by the government, is significantly higher than the official CPI inflation measure, which was 2.5 percent in July.
The railway and road supervisory office has recently launched a law enforcement action against Network Rail for not providing a "timely and reliable" service.
Robert Nisbet, of the Rail Delivery Group, representing the railway sector, said: "We understand that nobody wants to pay more for their trip to work, but tariff money is supporting record investments to build the best railway customers and the country the economy needs. "
Passengers hoping to see the back of the "cattle truck" Pacer trains have been told they have to wait a little longer.
The Northern operator promised to start phasing out its 100-vehicle diesel fleet, which dates back to British Rail, before the new year.
But it was not able to demolish the Pacers due to delays in upgrading infrastructure, such as electrification of the route from Manchester to Bolton.