HC Deb 17 November 1954 vol 533 cc369-70
32. Mr. Ernest Davies

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what schemes of railway electrification are at present being undertaken; and what are being planned in detail for commencement shortly.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The electrification of the Shenfield-Chelmsford and the Shenfield-Southend lines and the extension of the Manchester-Sheffield electrification scheme to Rotherwood marshalling yard are proceeding. Detailed planning for electrification of the London-Tilbury line is in hand and some preliminary engineering works have been started. As I informed the House on 3rd November, the Commission hopes to present a plan for re-equipment and modernisation of British Railways, including further electrification schemes, before the year ends.

Mr. Davies

Could the right hon. Gentleman say on what basis of priorities these schemes are now being proceeded with? How does it work out, and where does the electrification of the Liverpool Street to Enfield line stand in regard to priorities, which were promised a long time ago?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

It would be very difficult for me to comment on that shortly before the main scheme is presented to me, as I have no doubt the hon. Member will understand. The early schemes, I have no doubt, were approved on the basis of the heavy traffic carried and increased efficiency which would result from electrification.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that there is not a single yard of overground electric railway in Scotland and that Scotland has a vast potential source of electricity? Will Scotland get a turn in the list of priorities soon?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

As I have said, I am awaiting the scheme of the British Transport Commission. I ask to be forgiven for not speculating in advance of receiving that scheme.

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