It was as long ago as June 2011 that I first commented in this blog about the plan to use class 319 units no longer required on Thameslink to run the electrified services here in the northwest. At the time I suggested that these trains were unlikely to be available in sufficient numbers for the scheduled start of services in December 2014.
Since then I have mentioned my concerns a couple more times, and also corresponded with the DfT.
Now, here we are just eight months from the supposed start of electric services on the phase two routes, and what is the latest news on our new electric trains? This month's Modern Railways, in an editorial which is highly critical of Government Ministers' and the DfT's handling of this matter, reports that Northern may receive - wait for it - three un-refurbished 319s this year. So it would seem we will be riding under our shiny new wires in the same old diesel units for some time.
This certainly makes my comment in January about the "last diesel timetable" look somewhat premature!