To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 4 December 2014 to Question 906431 given to the hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne Central, what enhancements are to be undertaken to the Intercity Express Programme rail fleet operating on the East Coast mainline by Stagecoach and Virgin; and what commitments on this matter are included in the terms of those companies franchise agreement.
Inter City Railways Limited (a joint venture of Stagecoach and Virgin) have committed to deliver £20 million worth of enhancements to the new Intercity Express Programme (IEP) fleet. This includes the provision of buffet facilities in the form of a Café-Bar style outlet capable of producing hot and cold snacks and drinks on all trains; and a number of other enhancements to the look and feel of the interior and exterior of the trains. All of these variations to the IEP fleet are included in the Franchise Agreement, which we expect to publish in March 2015, around the time of the start of the new franchise.