There is a certain logic here since the rolling stock needed will be commuter stock so it makes a logical operational decision to take advantage of the "wires" to run electrical commuter stock under them to the limits of where they will go. The rolling stock needed for the West and South Wales services are long distance and that is where the decision has been postponed until the New Year.
HS2 is to go ahead but no definitive route has been decided upon. We suspect that there will be little change (just tinkering) from the route as laid out by the previous government (in March 2010). The present government will just choose its moment to make the route known so as to reduce the negative political impact among its own supporters as much as possible. The no news with regard to the electrification of the MML from Bedford to Nottingham, Sheffield and Leeds was received with great disappointment. However, we suspect that a lot will depend on the final route of HS2 from Birmingham to Leeds. A great part of this route will pass through the aforementioned cities. Therefore, they might get a better than anticipated service when the route is finally announced. Thereafter, the electrification of the MML from Bedford to Nottingham will be a logical fill-in in the next stage.
Eurostar trains were built to British standards(limitations) with a narrower gauge and a dual traction system so they could run on the third rail DC system into Waterloo. Since these limitations no longer exist on HS1 into St.Pancras, then the stock is superfluous to needs and Eurostar will be thinking about replacements for that stock. If the UK government were willing to pay a fair price for the stock (which is only about 15 years old) Eurostar might be persuaded to bring forward its replacement programme so as to have a more modern, more comfortable and a more standardised fleet, thus reducing its own running costs.
This would be of special importance if DB is to be allowed to run trains into St.Pancras with underfloor traction units and not the end traction units used at present on Eurostar trains.
The UK government would benefit by obtaining a large number of traction units of dual standard together with a large number of coaches which can be used on any long distance line, all at a knock-down price. The timetable, for introduction of the vehicles on to the UK network, might even be quicker.
The dual standard locomotives are what Thameslink needs and will need for trains on the differing systems both north and south of the Thames. They might not be appropriate for stopping commuter services but certainly would work for fast limited stop services. The future network envisaged for Thameslink would run from Peterborough and Kings Lynn, as well as Bedford, to various destinations on or near the south coast. The locomotives might also be useful for both passenger and freight traffic on the Southampton to Birminghan corridor. This would especially be the case as the GWML has been confirmed as being electrified from Reading to Oxford. This could then be connected to HS2 and so open the rest of the electrified network - especially the WCML.
The number of coaches for these services might be more than needed which opens the possibility of cascading them to other lines.
What we need is some lateral thinking on the whole question of fleet renewal. This idea could be quicker and cheaper than alternatives.