This seems entirely sensible to us

Entirely sensible, that is, if we change one word of this Times headline:

Rail commuters to pay more despite overcrowding and disruption

For we really do think that would be sensible if it read "Rail commuters to pay more because of overcrowding". That being the manner in which that marvelous price system reacts to changes in supply and or demand. We would also note that we have no other method of managing, or even calculating or understanding, the interaction of the billions of objects and people within an economy than that price system itself.

More than £40 will be added to the cost of the average annual rail season ticket next year as the government prepares to increase fares despite serious overcrowding and chaos caused by striking unions.

The striking unions are a different problem but the overcrowding should be met with prices rises.

In the short term rail capacity is inelastic. Thus the solution to overcrowding cannot be the instant expansion of supply. Price rises will aid in curtailing demand, thus lifting by some amount that overcrowding. In the longer term of course everything is elastic. And price rises will increase the incentive to expand capacity and provide the finance to do so as well. Thus again reducing the overcrowding.

Rising fares in the face of overcrowding are not thus some distressing but or despite, they are the solution.