HC Deb 30 July 1937 vol 326 cc3498-9
6. Lieut.-Colonel Fletcher

asked the Minister of Transport, what is the proportion of all-steel coaches to wooden coaches employed on British railways as compared with French; whether he has any information indicating that the use of steel coaches minimises danger to life in accidents, enabling higher speeds to be maintained than with wooden coaches; if the progressive employment of steel coaches is accompanied by a diminution of fatal accidents on the railways; and whether the 75 per cent. of steel employed in British passenger rolling stock is employed in the chassis or bodywork construction.

Mr. Burgin

The information at my disposal does not enable me to make the comparison asked for in the first part of the Question. I have no evidence that the use of steel coaches has the results suggested in the second and third parts. As regards the last part, steel is employed in both the chassis and the bodywork.

Sir Percy Harris

Has the right hon. Gentleman seen the account of a very serious accident in France where steel coaches withstood the shock while wooden ones were destroyed?

Mr. Burgin

I have seen the report, but the whole question of steel coaches is rather confusing. What we call wooden coaches in England are 75 per cent. steel.