Disturbing news here about East Coast (used to GNER) withdrawing dining cars. It's the end of civilisation as we know it! Seriously.
One of the delights of train travel, especially on a long journey, is the idea of a decent meal and comfortable surroundings. Are we really so keen to hunker over laptops for hours on end, not speaking to anyone and consoling ourselves with limp sarnies?
Occasionally I get the East Coast train to Edinburgh from Inverness in the morning and it's great. Comfy seats, plugs for laptops, wi-fi and a decent bacon roll and coffee from the buffet car. There's usually a few folk you recognise making the same journey and it's such a long train it's great fun to walk the length of it seeing who you can spot.
Public transport should be attractive as well as functional and affordable. Why on earth do we still have tiny cramped commuter trains running between the Highlands and the central belt most of the time when that's a journey of almost four hours? And don't get me started on the Inverness-Aberdeen service. Last time I came back from Castle Greyskull I had to stand till Keith!