In this week's Think Tank, Simon Guerrier called for a major reform of the rail network including renationalisation, the re-opening of branch lines and the ending of interminable on-train announcements. Here is how you reacted.

I loved Simon Guerrier's article and applaud almost every word. However, my own experience is that the condition of trains is certainly better since privatisation and shows up the way in which British Rail was starved of capital investment for so long.

Talk of opening up Beeching's axed lines has remained just that, with one glorious exception. The Robin Hood line from Nottingham to Worksop re-opened 12 years ago after a seemingly endless campaign by local authorities and interest groups, almost from the day it closed. The result? A full service, needing more and bigger trains.

Competition for railway franchises has shown that the big guns do want to run trains, and people want to use them. If I were a member of the government I'd like to be remembered for a lasting contribution. Railways should be built to serve communities forever. Who will remember the instigator of the Millennium Dome or the M74 in 100 years?

Steve Gilbert, Sheffield, by e-mail.

What is about the UK that we have to renationalise everything to make it work? It costs more, employs more and has low efficiency.

Tony Lewis, Ayrshire, on The Herald website.

As if First ScotRail's long-distance one-size-fits-all trains weren't bad enough, the company inflicts torture-by-Tannoy on us passengers squeezed into cramped accommodation.

I'm writing this on the 0842 from Inverness to Aberdeen today (Wed, Dec 5), and we have just arrived in Forres. There have already been 10 interminable announcements telling us to mind the gap, what the next station is and where we're bound. At this rate, in a two-and-a-half hour, 100-mile journey, we may yet reach treble figures. Twice we've had "This is . . ." Then silence, followed by: "This train is for Aberdeen". Most of the announcements are recorded, interspersed with some by train staff. All are preceded by a bing-bong that actually aurally hurts.

Arrival last night in Inverness was marked by: "We are now approaching Inverness, where this train terminates. The next stop is Anniesland". No, honestly, I'm not making this up.

Rail staff nickname the recorded female announcer "Sonia". As in, 'son yir nerves.

Gordon Casely, Aberdeen, by e-mail.

I recently flew from Cardiff to Glasgow. A one-hour trip in a slightly roomier sardine can, at a smidgen over half the price of eight hours on a train.

Environmentally unsound, I concede, but I lack the wherewithal to subsidise the planet by £50 a trip, I'm afraid. There's one thing I'd do to make our railways cleaner, roomier, cheaper and faster; ask just about every other country in the civilised world how they managed it.

Rob Stradling, Cardiff, on the website.

To Mr Stradling in Cardiff: have you been on a train in the US recently? I'd definitely say my experience with British trains was a good deal better than on this side of the Atlantic. That is not to say they are without faults, merely that for this "country in the civilised world," they were an improvement.

Leslie McMurtry, Albuquerque, New Mexico, on the website.

We now pay much more in subsidies as a nation than we did when the railways were nationalised.

I agree that more people are travelling by train than under the final days of the nationalised railways but the private companies are also skimming profits off their operation. It would certainly be cheaper simply to pay the train-operating companies the money they pay in dividends to shareholders - and use the remaining money from ticket sales and subsidies to provide an effective service; re-nationalisation is the obvious answer.

I note that John Gummer, the Conservative MP, has suggested that the Government should stop airlines providing services between Manchester and London. Apparently passengers should be forced to use already overcrowded and expensive rail services. This would create an effective public transport monopoly.

I think that there are many lessons that can be learned from the air industry. Airlines, like rail and bus companies, do not pay VAT on their fuel and yet provide a service that is usually more reliable, comfortable, interesting and often cheaper than the national rail services.

Jonathan Challis, Manchester, on the website.