§ Sir C. Rawson
asked the Minister of Transport what is the object of the blue lamps in railway trains, which give out a certain amount of heat but not sufficient light for a person to see whether anyone is in the compartment; and will drivers of electric trains be permitted to switch on the ordinary lights in tunnels, particularly in the day-time, as the present system is causing discomfort and annoyance to passengers?
§ Captain Wallace
There has been some difficulty in obtaining a sufficient supply of suitable blue glass, with the result that it has been necessary to spray lamps with blue paint, and in some cases this has been done with undue liberality. Steps 2143W have been taken to rectify this and I am assured that blue lamps of standard intensity are now fitted in most trains, and provide light sufficient to enable passengers to move about in reasonable comfort.
I regret that it is not possible to permit ordinary lights to be switched on in tunnels. The provision of these standard lamps would be greatly accelerated if the public would co-operate with the Railway Companies in preventing the theft of a large number of bulbs every day. The removal of one bulb may mean plunging the whole of a coach into darkness.
Arrangements have been completed to allow the installation of reading lights in main line trains, and progress in this matter is being made as rapidly as circumstances and the supply of equipment permit.
§ Captain Wallace
As I stated last week in reply to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Brentford (Mr. Mitchell) the equipment of main line trains with reading light is proceeding. The hon. Member will no doubt have observed that a satisfactory start has been made with a train on the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, and others will follow as quickly as the necessary equipment can be provided.