§ Mr. Clifton-Brown
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 5 December 2001,Official Report, column 383W, on the west coast main line, whether the Government have given financial guarantees to an organisation in relation to the Hartwell agreement on (a) the west coast main line and (b) the Virgin cross country franchise; what is the total cost estimated by the Strategic Rail Authority for the Virgin cross country franchise upgrade; and how dependent this upgrade is on (i) completion of Phase I west coast main line upgrade and (ii) Phase 2 west coast main line upgrade. 
§ Mr. Jamieson
[holding answer 13 December 2001]The Government have given no financial guarantees in relation to the Hartwell agreement. Financial support to the cross country franchise is set out in the annual report of the Strategic Rail Authority, which was placed in the Library of the House in July. Various enhancements of the cross country route have been undertaken by Railtrack; the costs are a matter for Railtrack. Improvements to journey times for cross country trains operating on the west coast main line are dependent on work to be carried out by Railtrack which will permit 125 mph operation with tilting trains at certain locations.