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Railways: Electrification

Volume 698: debated on Tuesday 29 January 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 11 December 2007 (WA 29), in view of the long-term nature of a railway electrification process, what would be the effect on the business case for railway electrification if the cost of oil was forecast at $200 a barrel in 2020 and passenger and freight train traffic continued to grow in line with the trends over the last five years. [HL1510]

A sustained rise in the cost of oil to $200 a barrel in 2020 would improve the business case for railway electrification, with the extent of any improvement depending on the specific scheme. However, any decision on electrification would need to take account of its effect on the implementation of the programme now being worked up to deliver the capacity improvements set out in the high-level output specification as part of the July rail White Paper.