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Railways: Fast Trains

Volume 699: debated on Tuesday 19 February 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will promote the provision on United Kingdom railways of trains capable of attaining speeds of 220 miles per hour, similar to those planned in France and Spain. [HL1873]

The Government’s strategy for inter-urban rail services is to make the best use of existing networks by lengthening existing trains, increasing service frequencies and tackling key congestion pinch points.

In other countries distances are often greater and congestion lower, so in some cases high-speed rail makes sense. The same does not necessarily apply to the shorter, more congested, corridors found in the UK.

However, the Government have not ruled out high-speed lines in the future. Any work done by industry contributes to our understanding of the issues around new lines. We will view any ideas in a multi-modal context.