The more discussions I read on London Reconnections and elsewhere about track access issues / costs, service frequencies, and metro/regional arguments, the more regularly I conclude that if you want mass transit (in London volumes) you cannot mix passenger services with freight, and ideally you shouldn't mix mass with regional. Track separation seems to be the only *realistic* way to get the service and passenger volumes required to actually happen.
The UK effectively let its nationalised railways suffer through lack of investment and advance planning. Former governments washed their hands of the problem to the extent of flogging it all off to multiple parties, effectively placing a restraint on joined-up thinking and planning.
London is a city like no other, in many ways, and is suffering greatly because of the lack of investment in both infrastructure and in the services which use those new expensive shiny metals.
Until there is a high-level realisation that yes, it will require money in large amounts because otherwise the cash-cow for the UK which London represents will just seize up, there won't be progress,
We need freight to get out of town; just like weight limits on roads railfreight needs to be kept to appropriate routes.
We need mass transit - commuting and leisure - to not be blocked by long-distance and regional services.
And we need long-distance and regional services to be able to run fast and not be blocked or delayed by those local and freight services.
If this happens in my lifetime I will be very surprised. Dammit.