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Thameslink Railway Line: Rolling Stock

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 12 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much her Department has spent on consultants on the specification for the new Thameslink rolling stock; and for what reason this matter was not deemed to be the responsibility of the rolling stock companies. (208921)

As of the 31 May 2008, the Department of Transport has spent approximately £1.1 million on the development of the procurement exercise to provide the new Thameslink rolling stock. This includes support from financial, legal and technical consultants.

In electing to lead the procurement, the Department identified that Thameslink is a highly complex programme with a clear requirement for the rolling stock specification and delivery to be aligned with the infrastructure works and planned train service operations. Successful integration of these elements sits with the Department. The Department also identified that there is a requirement for optimising the value of the investment and a need to address the aims of the Rail Technical Strategy published in July 2007.

We considered that these issues were less likely to be fully addressed by a market led approach and there was a need for departmental leadership to ensure that the objectives of the Thameslink rolling stock programme are fully realised.