Dreaming of trains

I do wonder at the quality of reporting in the national media sometimes. Under the headline ‘Train boss promises improvements’ the leading paragraph reads

The incoming managing director of First Great Western has promised more trains, less overcrowding and better services.

But listen to what he says in the associated video clip.

We are scouring the land for the right sort of rolling stock for that, but it’s not currently available.

He says a lot about promising improvements in reliability (as does the train company’s press release); he talks of increases in train capacity that have been made in the recent past, but on what First Great Western will do about the current overcrowding the message is clear: there is nothing they can do. And even if they wanted to, the restrictions in their franchise, where they will be busy paying money to the government for the privilege of providing the rail service (£1,130.5M over ten years), mean that there is little they could do to increase capacity here.