[Ann Winterton in the Chair] — West Coast Route Modernisation

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:31 pm on 25th May 2006.

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Photo of Derek Twigg Derek Twigg Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 3:31 pm, 25th May 2006

The hon. Gentleman will not be surprised if I make the point that double-decker trains represent one of several solutions that the Department is considering; it is important to take a generic view of solutions for the railway. There is no one solution for the whole railway, and as he makes clear there are certain options. As I have said, perhaps following some minor infrastructure or route improvements, we believe that the west coast line has capacity for trains of 10 to 12 cars. There is the ability to build up the length of the trains and, of course, have longer platforms. In the longer term, we have to decide which high-level output specification we can afford and which the Secretary of State wants to take forward. I ask the hon. Gentleman to be a little patient at this stage.