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Keeping It In The Family

Once we had those steam engines
Powerful, massive, shiny black,
Efficiently pulling their trains
Along their countrywide track.
Sleek powerful creatures
Snorting, hissing, leaking steam,
And to be an engine driver was
Said to be every schoolboy dream.

Crossing gates swung open
Making cars and lorries queue
Giving them priority as they
Steamed majestically through.
Replaced by the diesel
Some of the romance gone
But the service continued
As the century rolled on.

Transport for the many
Efficiently hauling freight
A network that accessed
Every corner of the state.
Then they appointed Accountants
Because politicians didn't understand
The social benefits of a system that
Efficiently joined all areas of the land.

All in the name of profit
The people weren't even asked
As, mile by mile by mile,
Many minor routes were axed,
Loosing more and more gas guzzlers
To clog and pollute inadequate roads,
Getting ever  bigger and bigger to carry
Increasingly heavier and heavier loads.

But you couldn't have railways
That were operating at a loss
So they chopped them to bits and
To hell with the environmental cost.
And, nobody at the time thought it
In any way crooked or sinister
Haulage was the family business
Of the then British Transport Minister.

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