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Railways: First Great Western

Volume 705: debated on Tuesday 4 November 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many new or transferred trains will be available to the First Great Western franchise in Bristol and the west of England after those on loan from other franchises are returned. [HL5900]

The Department for Transport does not determine the amount of rolling stock for First Great Western (FGW) or any other train operator.

However, the department continues to work closely with First Great Western to explore the opportunity to meet the capacity requirements set out in last year's rail White Paper commitments. The department's updated Rolling Stock Plan (published in July 2008, and available at www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/rollingstock/ hlosupdatejuly08) envisages an additional 52 vehicles for the franchise.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Adonis on 23 October (WA 70), how many of the additional rail vehicles will be added to the Great Western fleet in the Bristol area and how many in the Thames Valley area; whether the extra vehicles take account of the transfers out; and what vehicles are expected to be transferred in. [HL5969]

The Department for Transport's Rolling Stock Plan, published in January 2008, stated that First Great Western (FGW) would receive, for regional services around Bristol, additional class 150 diesel multiple unit (DMU) vehicles cascaded from London Midland. Furthermore, it states that FGW would receive new DMU vehicles for the London suburban services.

The plan noted, however, that these plans were not prescriptive and were subject to a development process within the industry. The actual number of vehicles will be decided in negotiation with FGW. Discussions with FGW are at an early stage.