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Train Operating Companies: Rolling Stock

Volume 474: debated on Monday 31 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons train operating companies are not allowed to acquire new rolling stock within their existing franchise without her Department's approval. (190552)

Proposals from train operators are welcome if they are going to fund new rolling stock. The Department needs to ensure contractual arrangements are in place in case of franchise termination so they can continue to operate the service; hence, there is a process in place to give these approvals.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what dates her Department was first made aware by (a) a rolling stock company and (b) a train operating company of a request for an increased amount of rolling stock on (i) the west coast mainline, (ii) the northern train's franchise and (iii) the southern franchise. (190560)

Since the Department for Transport has regular and ongoing discussions with train operators regarding current and projected passenger demand and the efficient utilisation of existing capacity, it is not practically possible to identify dates when specific propositions were first raised. While train operators may seek central Government funding for additional rolling stock, it may also be procured with third party funding or at the commercial initiative of the train operator itself.