HC Deb 27 September 1944 vol 403 cc231-2
40. Mr. Rostron Duckworth

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport whether the railway companies will be able to improve their passenger train services this winter, in view of the course of hostilities on the Continent.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of War Transport (Mr. Noel-Baker)

As from 2nd October, the railways will run the same services that they provided last winter. The companies will still have to contend with difficulties over man-power, locomotives and rolling stock, and they must still give priority to the large volume of essential traffic that is passing. My hon. Friend will understand, therefore, that it will not be possible to restore normal peace-time passenger services in the early future.

Mr. Duckworth

Can the hon. Gentleman say anything with regard to the restoration of the restaurant car service?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I am afraid that I could not make a statement yet.

Colonel Greenwell

May I ask the hon. Gentleman if, at any rate, it will be possible, first, to improve the running time of the long distance trains, and secondly, if he cannot restore restaurant cars, will he, at least, consider putting on buffet cars, as the need is very greatly felt by the travelling public?

Mr. Noel-Baker

Yes, Sir, I recognise that, but we have tried to improve restaurant facilities on stations, and we will certainly restore the restaurant cars or buffet cars as soon as we can, but it is really now a choice between seats for passengers and buffet cars.