§ Mr. Thurnham
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made on the west coast main line reinvestment project under the private finance initiative.
§ Mr. Freeman
Railtrack, together with a private sector consortium—West Coast Main Line Development Company Ltd—have, since April, been carrying out a study aimed at producing design standards for the line and recommending funding options for the project, consistent with the objectives of the private finance initiative. The study is expected to be completed by the end of the year. A further competition will then be held for the contract to undertake the upgrading work. That contract is expected to be let in mid-1995 and the works will start as soon as possible thereafter.