Hogwash, if the next franchise operator can get trains which offer a better business case, are more reliable and cheaper to run etc then why shouldn't they, replace the entire lot if it makes sense, and frankly it doesn't matter if the trains are 2 years old or 50 years old.I hate to moan, but it seems absolutely ridiculous that on this forum we are seriously suggesting replacing trains that aren't even 15 years old whereas on some parts of the network trains of 40+ years of age are doing absolutely fine, and in other places electrification projects are being cancelled meaning they are stuck with dirty old DMU's. This mentality of ordering new stock every time a new franchisee takes over is utterly ridiculous (some European countries still run stock from the 60's with no problem) , not to mention an absolute waste of decent trains and rather harmful to the railway in terms of spending. I'm sure many people who come from areas where infrastructure upgrades are badly needed would love to hear why money isn't being spent on them, but instead on replacing still-fairly-young trains!
This business oh this trains only 20 years old its could last another 20 years blah blah utterly pathetic, the railways are coming out of period vast underinvestment where in many cases the trains have had to last until they were falling apart but I see no reason why that situation has to be continued.
Diesels are being made to last longer than they should because the way ahead was meant to be electric but obviously that position is now having to be re thought.