I've had fairly recent correspondence with GA on the 5 v 8 issue. It seems the expectation is that by recasting the GEML timetable and adding additional services the loadings will be spread more evenly. It's a fair point because the Stadler IC12s will provide more seats for, say, Colchester and Chelmsford (possibly even Witham) passengers. It's a theory and a nice aspiration but two worries remain regarding the distribution of the new fleet; 1) In correspondence a GA exec confirmed to me that the operations side had no input on the numbers of new trains required and that the bid team calculated the stock requirements based on an "indicative timetable". Adding "the hard work for us starts now as we try to deliver the service promised in that indicative timetable with the available fleet". So basically shoehorning what they've been given into what they've promised. 2) Under a FOI request the DfT confirmed to me that an "indicative timetable wasn't provided as part of the bid process and that the only specific requirements required [by the DfT] were set out in the minimum service standards". So, all guesswork based on profit margins by the bid team and no due diligence on the part of the Government Department to ensure that the bid's proud boasts are actually workable. This will end well.