To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to paragraph 2.203 of the Autumn Statement 2014, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of replacing Pacer trains under the Northern rail franchise due to start in February 2016.
In February 2015, the Government published the Invitations to Tender for the Northern and TransPennine rail franchises. The specification includes a substantial package of upgrades including new services and some new trains in order to phase out the outdated Pacer trains by 2020.
It will be for bidders to set out how they will meet the specification set out by Government, noting that a key part of the bid evaluation criteria is price.
The final cost of phasing out the pacer trains is subject to the outcome of the competition. The Government’s initial estimate for the costs of the proposals, including 120 new build train vehicles, is approximately £250 million across the nine years of the Northern franchise, however we would expect the prices received by bidders through the competition to be lower than this.