The trains not now arriving

The BBC repeated several times today that the government will be providing 1000 extra trains which it will pay for. But read the speech that this is based on and it says no such thing. The exact words are

So in the High Level Output Specification this summer, we will specify that 1,000 new carriages should be targeted at the most congested routes to effectively tackle passenger demand.

In this way, if the price is right, I anticipate that we will significantly increase the number of carriages on the network by 2014.

The High Level Output Specification will be the government’s expectation for what the railway will deliver over the coming years. It does not mean that the government will pay for this. In fact, if you consider that most of the recently let rail franchises require the Train Operating Companies to pay the government a premium within one or two years rather than receive a subsidy, it is the passengers that will be paying for the trains, not the government. Methinks some people in the DfT and the Beeb must be feeling very dizzy at the moment.

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