§ Mr. Wilson
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what proposals there are to introduce new or newly constructed passenger rolling stock on the London, Tilbury and Southend line; what is the estimated cost; and when he expects it to be introduced;
(2) what action has been taken since 1988 to remove the danger of electrical explosions in the guard's vans and EMU rolling stock in operation on the London, Tilbury and Southend line; what modifications to rolling stock are still to be carried out; and what is the total cost of any modifications that have (a) been carried out and (b) are still to be carried out;
(3) how many units in each class of electrical multiple unit rolling stock are in use on the London, Tilbury and Southend line; what is the average age of each class of EMU; and what is the average age of all the rolling stock in use on the line;149W
(4) how many and which class of electrical multiple unit operating on the London, Tilbury and Southend line are being used with the guard's brake and adjoining passenger accommodation locked out of use as a precaution against electrical explosions;
(5) on how many occasions since 1988 there have been explosions in the guard's vans and electrical multiple unit rolling stock operating on the London, Tilbury and Southend line; and if he will give the date, class and EMU involved and the cause of the explosion for each incident.
§ Mr. Freeman
The number of units and the average age of the rolling stock in each class are as follows:
Class Number of units Average age (years) 302 30 35 308 27 32 310 37 27 312 14 16
The overall average age of the fleet is 29 years.
There have been two explosions in the guard's vans of London, Tilbury and Southend line rolling stock since 1988. These occurred on 15 September and 11 October 1991, and involved a class 308 unit and a class 312 unit respectively. Both incidents were caused by failure of the high tension cable insulation.
I understand from British Rail that the necessary repairs to the class 310 and 312 units have been done, and work on class 302 and class 308 units should be completed later this month, at a total cost of around £125,000.
The guard's van and adjoining coach on each of the seven class 302 and class 308 units still to be repaired are currently locked out of use.
My right hon. Friend and I have asked British Rail to tell us by Easter what rolling stock it wishes to lease using the £150 million leasing facility announced at the time of the autumn statement, and for which routes. Rolling stock for the London, Tilbury and Southend line is one of the options.
§ Mr. John Greenway
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of new rolling stock to be ordered by British Rail over the coming year is planned to he awarded to ABB York.
§ Mr. Freeman
Orders for new rolling stock are awarded by British Rail following competitive tendering in accordance with the EC utilities directive [90/531/EEC].