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Volume 471: debated on Thursday 31 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the demand for additional carriages to be added to Virgin Pendolino trains on the West Coast mainline route; and if she will make a statement. (183667)

The Department for Transport has assessed demand on the West Coast Main Line and continues to take action to ensure provision of extra capacity, as envisaged in the 2007 high level output specification (HLOS) statement. An additional 30 per cent. capacity will be realised from the existing fleet of 'Pendolino' trains from December 2008, when a more intensive service will be introduced.

The Department is currently refining requirements for the lengthening of a number of the 'Pendolino' trains by two carriages, for introduction early in the life of the next franchise for West Coast Trains (2012 onwards), subject to value-for-money considerations.