Thameslink 2000 News!

Staying on a railway theme I bring news of that most delayed of jobs, Thameslink 2000. And the news I bring is of yet more delays, pushing back the actual useful part of the work even further into the future. But first apologies for any rail lingo that may seep through, they do so love their buzzwords and jargon that it’s hard not to get sucked into using it.

The news is that Key Output 2 (i.e. the London Bridge part of the works that will provide 90% of the actual capacity improvement) now has a completion date of December 2016, and even that is somewhat vague as the existing plan has been ‘revised’ to produce ‘cost savings’ and so will need to be re-approved some time later in the year.

My guess on the matter, I fear Thameslink will get culled in the giant post-election budget slashing. KO1 (the pre-Olympics stuff) is safe for obvious reasons, but big capital jobs always suffer when spending cuts come and KO2 looks vulnerable. The government has already pushed back both KO2 and the new NXEMU trains to beyond the election and it is a big chunk of cash, about £5.5 billion for the lot, which has to go on the government books; Network Rail’s £28 billion of dodgy off-the-books debt doesn’t include any money for Thameslink.

So bad news for those who use the trains in South London, good news for those of us who are enjoying the increasing inaccuracy of the Thameslink 2000 name.

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