Commons Gate

Delivering a Sustainable Railway: A 30-year Strategy for the Railways? (HC 219-iii)

Transport Committee 20 Feb 2008

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Evidence given by
2.45 p.m. Rail Safety and Standards Board Anson Jack, Deputy Chief Executive Stephen McKay, Safety Policy Advisor Peter G Rayner Peter Rayner, Consultant and Expert on Railway Operations and Safety
3.20 p.m. Transport Salaried Staffs' Association Gerry Doherty, General Secretary The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT)Bob Crow, General Secretary Alex Gordon, Executive Committee Member
4.00 p.m. Bombardier Transportation Group Colin Walton, Chairman & Chief Country Representative UK & Ireland Angel Trains Haydn Abbott, Managing Director

Q332 Mr. Eric Martlew (Carlisle): Just on this and on the points that you have made, Mr Rayner. It is very interesting when you say that they were wasting £200 million at New Street - and that is arguable, but I will take it that you are right. Just put forward the process. Have you costed how much your proposals would be for the electrification and the other issues you mention? How much more Treasury money would we need?

Mr Rayner: I think that the £200 million that is going towards New Street - it is a £400 million job but money is coming from other parts - the Department for Transport's £200 million would start the electrification process. If you electrified the Great Western Main Line, I could not tell you how much it would cost because some of that cost will be in the Crossrail system.

Q333 Mr. Eric Martlew (Carlisle): Is it not a worry that we have all sorts of experts on the railways who have great ideas but they never know where the money is going to come from?

Mr Rayner: That is a possibility. The money comes from the Treasury.

Q334 Mr. Eric Martlew (Carlisle): How much more would you want from the Treasury?

Mr Rayner: All the money does. What I am saying to you is that with the scheme for, for example, the electrification of the Great Western Main Line - which is one that will have to come, I am fully sure - I could not put a price on that, you could not put a price on that, and very few people could, because we do not yet know how much will be paid for by the Crossrail, which will take you halfway to Reading. What I am saying is that, if you spend money on improving the cosmetics of New Street, which will not do a thing for the railway, that £200 million could be better spent.

Q335 Mr. Eric Martlew (Carlisle): We are talking about probably billions of pounds and you are talking about making a £200 million saving. Where does the rest come from?

Mr Rayner: I do not know the precise amount that the electrification would cost but, if we do not roll forward electrification like the rest of Europe is, then you will in fact end up with a stagnated railway.

This is an uncorrected transcript of evidence taken in public and reported to the House. The transcript has been placed on the internet on the authority of the Committee. Neither witnesses nor Members have had the opportunity to correct the record. The transcript is not yet an approved formal record of these proceedings.

The full transcript may be read here.

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On behalf of Eric Martlew, 3 Chatsworth Square Carlisle Cumbria CA1 1HB