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Railways: High-speed Train

Volume 690: debated on Wednesday 14 March 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How fuel efficiency and emissions are factored into the procurement process for the replacement high-speed train, for which they are now responsible. [HL2511]

One of the objectives of the InterCity Express Programme to procure the replacement of the high-speed train is to achieve an environmentally sustainable solution in support of the Department for Transport's policy of reducing the impact of travel on the environment. To this end, the technical specification will include the following:

a realistic target weight for the train which would deliver the objectives of better energy efficiency, reduced emissions and improved performance;

a more demanding desirable target train weight which, if provided, would further enhance delivery of such objectives;

proposals for the use of diesel-powered trains as part of the solution must fully comply with the Class IIIB emission requirements set out in European Directive 2004/26/EC;

any self-powered train sets are to demonstrate a reduction in CO2 emissions per seat km;

trains are to be required to be fitted with a braking system which, when obtaining power from the overhead supply, shall be capable of regenerating energy back into the overhead line;

a desirable requirement is that the self-powered train set shall employ energy recovery systems; and

the fitting of energy metering systems are to provide real-time advice to the driver to allow him to optimise energy consumption, consistent with maintaining punctuality.

As part of the pre-qualification process, the accreditation questionnaire will test suppliers' ability to address these environmental and fuel economy issues. Their responses will be scored and will be part of the process for the selection both of potential suppliers and, following evaluation of final bids, of the winning tender.