British Rail

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th March 1983.

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Photo of Mr Michael McNair-Wilson Mr Michael McNair-Wilson , Newbury 12:00 am, 16th March 1983

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the chairman of British Rail about the use of the British Rail network by organisations other than British Rail.

Photo of Mr David Howell Mr David Howell , Guildford

I have told the chairman that I shall consider any realistic proposals for private operation of rail services.

Photo of Mr Michael McNair-Wilson Mr Michael McNair-Wilson , Newbury

In view of the successful operation of the privately owned Orient Express on British Rail permanent way, what opinion has my right hon. Friend formed about the possibility of other private operators of a similar type running trains such as the Bournemouth or Brighton Belle again?

Photo of Mr David Howell Mr David Howell , Guildford

There are such possibilities. British Rail has an open door to any proposals of the type that Mr. Sherwood advanced. His is a successful example of British Rail providing the infrastructure and motor power, with the rolling stock being provided by the private operator. It has a somewhat limited market. Nevertheless, the idea has paid off and proved both attractive and profitable.