Friday, 17 July 2009

Monday's announcement.

So the Department will finally make its long awaited electrification announcement on Monday.

Despite the delays this is no mean achievement, bearing in mind the level of opposition from the Treasury.

No matter.

Sources differ as to what the Secretary of State will actually announce.

Pessimists suggest it will be a token gesture, a Paddington to Reading affair, deliverable within CP4 (riding on the back of Crossrail and taking advantage of the already funded Reading remodelling).

Meanwhile cynics suggest it will promise electrification of both the Great Western and Midland Main Lines as well as numerous infill schemes.

Such a bold announcement would offer the beleaguered Labour government many benefits; keeping the muesli munchers happy, diverting attention from the current "disastrous" state of TOC finances and nicely poisoning the well for the Tory Party, who after May 2010 will face funding or cancelling the programme. Oh, and it also allows the government to 'postpone' ordering any new, nasty, smelly but desperately needed additional DMU vehicles.

Of course the announcement could propose an electrification strategy that is both deliverable and affordable!

One that might even be welcomed by the new, improved, non-nasty, green Conservative Party.

In which case expect My Lord Adonis to cross the floor sooner rather than later.

UPDATE: This from the Major...

My sources suggest Monday may be delayed till Thursday.

Time will tell...

The Fact Compiler thought it might be helpful to point out that Parliament rises for the Summer Recess on Tuesday next week.

Surely the Department wouldn't be so foolish as to make such an important policy announcement without allowing it to be subjected to proper, democratic, scrutiny by the people's representatives?

Of course not!
After all the decision to nationalise NXEC was announced by Adonis on Radio 4's Today programme.

Leaving MPs to twiddle their thumbs for a full 12 hours before Sadiq Khan could be bothered to make a statement in the Commons.

UPDATE: This from the BBC...

"John Penrose is concerned that plans to electrify the line between Paddington and Bristol do not include Weston."

Good to see that the lobbying has already started.

Tomorrow's papers

A big hand to Virgin Trains!

One possible headline for tomorrow's Sun.

UPDATE: As predicted.