So. A big Eye welcome to the exciting New Franchising Policy unveiled today.
In many ways it is very much like the old franchising policy, except that it just takes longer and this one is sans Directly Operated Railways... for the moment.
The industry has of course been underwhelmed by the paucity of ambition shown, with many of the worst performing TOCs receiving extensions to cover the Department's blushes (shurely: ...overwhelmed by the breadth of ambition shown, with top performing TOCs being rewarded with well deserved extensions designed to benefit the passenger? Ed).
Trebles all round at London Midland, CrossCountry and SouthEastern to name but a few.
Meanwhile, of more pressing concern to the cash strapped Treasury will be what this exciting programme does to the Statement of Funds Available.
If you think it's cold now, wait until CP5!