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Diesel-only Trains: Decommissioning

Volume 714: debated on Thursday 19 May 2022

We remain committed to phasing out diesel-only trains by 2040, and have electrified almost 800 miles of track in the past four years alone to support that goal.

The Minister is aware that the Global Centre of Rail Excellence being developed in Onllwyn in my Neath constituency is the first and only purpose-built UK rail test facility, which will test the capability and reliability of alternative diesel rail technologies. Will the Minister add “test British” to her “buy British” approach, so that all new and upgraded rolling stock endure a fault-free running period before being introduced into service in the UK?

The hon. Lady highlights exactly why electrification of our railways is so important and also the importance of British research, British innovation and British businesses’ involvement in the railway sector. On the point about electrification, I mentioned earlier that we had included almost 800 miles in England. I remind the House of the importance not just of electrification, but of the fact that it was this Government who, since 2010, have electrified more than 1,200 miles of rail, compared with just 63 under Labour.

We now come to topical questions, but, first, I want to let those on the Front Bench know that no letter was sent to me; it was sent to the Opposition. We have just had an apology. To all those saying that I have received a letter, I say, no, I have not. That is not good enough, and hopefully we will get it right next time.