HC Deb 29 July 1997 vol 299 c198W
46. Mr. Hanson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he next expects to meet officials of Railtrack to discuss improvements to west coast services. [9396]

Ms Glenda Jackson

I met Richard Branson of the Virgin Rail Group on 10 July and will be meeting the chief executive of Railtrack on 12 August. The Virgin Rail Group has committed to service improvements on the west coast main line through its franchise agreement with the franchising director, including improved reliability and increased capacity on the line from 2002. These depend to a great extent on the upgrading of the line on which the franchising director concluded an agreement with Railtrack in 1996. I understand that the Virgin Rail Group is currently discussing further upgrading options with Railtrack.