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East Coast Railway Line: Rolling Stock

Volume 502: debated on Thursday 10 December 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent estimate he has made of the cost of refurbishing existing rolling stock on the East Coast Main Line to enable it to be used (a) up to and (b) beyond 2019. (301211)

In order to provide a comparison with the costs of the new Super Express Trains, which will operate on the East Coast Main Line from 2014, the Department for Transport has prepared an estimate of the costs of the alternative: of continuing to operate the existing intercity rolling stock beyond that time. This includes the period leading up to as well as the period beyond 2019. Release of this comparator information at this stage would diminish the Department's commercial position in negotiations with the preferred bidder, Agility Trains. We therefore remain convinced of the value for money of replacing the old rolling stock with the new Super Express Train, especially in the context of an extensive electrification programme.