Why are the railways filled with so many derelict trains?

It seems like the railway sidings of the UK are junkyards for old trains. Places like Crewe, Birmingham, Liverpool etc have sidings full of old rolling stock that has been sitting there for more than ten years. Is it a difficult job to remove these trains from the track and scrap them? They take up space and create an atmosphere of decay on the railway.

My WAG is it’s just a way to save the money for scrapping them. Space isn’t a problem; many stations have plenty of side tracks that were built decades ago but aren’t used now, the great days of long-distance passenger service being past. So put the coaches you don’t need any more on the tracks you don’t need any more, and save money.

That makes sense, especially as your company might not get the contract to run that particular part of the rail network next time around; no point investing money in scrapping them when you can just leave them lying around for the next guy to tidy up.

Certainly Crewe yard and Old Oak Common depot (on the right as you go west out of Paddington) have traditionally used as scrapyards for old locos waiting to be broken up.

These days, there aren’t many depots with good road access (bizarrely), except for the Freighliner depots - Freightliner has its own locos but otherwise has little interest in them.

Most operational locomotives are owned by English Welsh & Scottish Railway Ltd, the major freight operator in Great Britain.

There aren’t many loco-hauled passenger trains left; most trains are multiple units. Some companies, like Virgin and GNER, operate a handful of diesel locomotives to rescue failed electric trains (Virgin’s are named after characters in Thunderbirds), and Great Western and ScotRail need them for their sleeper services which use conventional carriages.

I bet they were put there temporarily and then ten years later it’s a big deal to move them again since everything is frozen up.

You see this in norther Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan. Long strings of old railroad cars, sitting in the middle of no where.

They have tracks they aren’t using, and cars they don’t need. Put the cars on the tracks, and you don’t have to pay to scrap them. The really annoying part is, someone else has to look at them everyday. Go park these in your own backyard please, Mr Railroadman.

If you buy a copy of the magazine Modern Railways you will often find an advert in there from English Welsh & Scottish Railway Ltd selling off some of their old locomotives. I bet the postage and packing charges are rather steep !