Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Thameslink Programme approved

As rumoured, the Thameslink Programme got funding today, which is the last hurdle before construction can commence. There was some suggestion it would only include the northern half, but that seems to be a misunderstanding. The current budget period only lasts until 2014, a year before the work is due to be complete, but there's no suggestion it won't be funded in the next period.

Today's white paper has some details hidden at the end. It confirms the 16 train per hour frequency and 12 car train length due by 2011 will only involve trains on the Midland Main Line. Trains on the Great Northern route (those that currently go to Kings Cross) will be added only in the next phase. The infrastructure budget is still said to be £3.55 billion, with the £5.5 billion figure mentioned today apparently covering rolling stock procurement (well over 1,000 carriages will be needed, at around £1 million each) and franchise renegotiation, and possibly other things.