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Rolling Stock

Volume 403: debated on Monday 10 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what discussions he has had with (a) the Strategic Rail Authority, (b) South West Trains and (c) Connex South Eastern on their Mark I replacement programme; and when the last Mark I stock will be replaced for each of the operators; [102167](2) what discussions he has had with the Strategic Rail Authority on

(a) the delay to the replacement of Mark I carriages, (b) the safety implications of the delay and (c) compensation claims for the inoperability of new rolling stock. [102165]

The Government has regular meetings with the Strategic Rail Authority covering a range of issues including Mark 1 replacement. The SRA is leading an industry wide Mark 1 replacement programme to ensure that all Mark 1 rolling stock is removed from the Network by 31 December 2004. Because of the failure of Railtrack to ensure an adequate power supply for the South London Network, it has become clear that it may be necessary to provide for around 300–350 vehicles to operate on the network after December 2004 but the SRA expects these vehicles to be removed from the network in Spring 2005. From 1 April 2003 all Mark 1 vehicles will be fitted with Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS), which seeks to prevent a collision by providing automatic braking if trains pass red signals or travel at excessive speed. Compensation is a commercial matter between the relevant parties.