HC Deb 20 July 1953 vol 518 cc35-6
55. Mr. Sparks

asked the Minister of Transport what progress has been made in the past five years in the electrification of railway running lines.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

On British Railways the electrified line from Liverpool Street to Shenfield with the associated branch from Fenchurch Street to Stratford was opened to traffic in November, 1949. The Manchester-Sheffield-Wath scheme is under construction and is partly completed. Other schemes are in contemplation. During 1948 and 1949 the London Transport Executive electrified and absorbed a total of 16.89 miles of existing surface lines, in completion of the extension of the Central line.

Mr. Sparks

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that practically the whole of the electrification of the railways is centred in the Southern Region? In view of the greater efficiency of that mode of traction over steam, particularly for suburban purposes, can he impress on the Transport Commission the need to extend to the other regions, particularly their suburban areas, the electrified system of the Southern line?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I am sure that the Commission will read the hon. Member's questions and my answers. The only concrete proposal that has come to the Minister has been for Fenchurch Street—Southend to be electrified, and I have given my approval in principle.

Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that it would be a great advantage to the country if some of the railways in the North of Scotland were electrified, thereby using the power of the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board and saving coal?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

That may well come.