§ 9. Mr. Hooley
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what proposals he has received from British Rail regarding the financing of the development of an electric version of the HS125 train.
§ Mr. Hooley
Will the Minister discourage British Rail from going ahead with its land-based Concorde—the APT—and ask it instead to concentrate its mind on developing the proven and highly successful HS125 and coverting it to electric traction?
§ Mr. Eyre
It is for the British Railways Board to decide on the next generation of high-speed electric trains. I understand that British Rail is working on three possibilities—the APT, to which the hon. Gentleman referred and for which some important design changes have been proposed; the class 89 locomotive; and the electric version of the high-speed train, to which the hon. Gentleman also referred.
§ Mr. Cockeram
In the twilight of Sir Peter Parker's reign at British Rail, will the Minister ensure that this costly and foolish project is buried? Will he assure the House that the next chairman of British Rail will be given a brief to take the fare-paying passenger for a ride on clean trains that run on time rather thantake the taxpayer for a ride, as has happened in the past?
§ Mr. Whitehead
Surely the point is that British Rail should be encouraged to move towards further electrification, without which the electric version of the HST and the successful APT will not be possible?
§ Mr. Whitehead
Surely the point is that we should encourage British Rail to move towards further electrification, without which the HS125 and the APT—successful though they may be—will be impossible?