Rail Franchising in terms that even small children can understand.

Congratulations, you’ve built yourself a natty new model railway. And now you want to play with some trains. Well tough shit, cos that ain’t going  to happen.

Daddy says that you can’t own the track and operate trains (apart from the track-cleaner once in a while).

Daddy has decided that the right to run trains will be auctioned off to your friends. They will pay him, take all the fun, and blame you every time something goes wrong.

But its not that simple. A while ago, Daddy sold off all your trains to four of your friends: Angelo, Evan, Peter and Freddie. Freddie ended up with most of the goods wagons and a large number of the the locos. The other three got all the passenger stock, grouped by type.

Freddie is allowed to play with his trains, as he won’t affect the fun of anyone else. The others, however, are allowed to own them but not play with them.

Daddy has decided that he’ll allow Francois, Dietrich, Hans, Hikaro, Richard and an a lot of others to play with the trains. But, they have to make sure that Daddy, Angelo, Evan and Peter all get some fun. Daddy wants his fun guaranteed. With ice-cream.

So, Francois rents some trains from Angelo, Evan lets Dietrich use some stock, and Peter lets Hans and Hikaro play a bit. Each sets their own price. And it is steep. Its ice-cream, with raspberry sauce.

So now, for example, we have Francois paying Angelo for the train, and also paying you to use the track. And both of you have to pay Daddy.

Then, Freddie turns out to be really called Friedrich, and he convinces a lot of the other children to let him play with their passenger trains. He then stop playing and lets his dad take over.

Francois, Hans and Hikaro then get bored and let their dads take over.

We are now reaching a situation when the fathers of the other children are now playing with your model railway, and taking all the fun.

Richard, however, stuggles on. Despite two massive messes he somehow seems to keep control of two of the best lines. He had a bit of a wobble when part of his playing was to be taken away, but he cried to Daddy and was given it back. Richard also plays with toy spaceships.

Along comes Jeremy. He decides that he wants you to have control of of your own railway and all the trains. Everyone, for some reason, thinks this will be a bad idea.

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