Mayor answers to London

Diesel trains

Question number2942/2012
Meeting date17/10/2012

Question by Jenny Jones

What are you doing to ensure electrification of the remaining diesel services on TfL’s Overground Network and what are you doing more widely to ensure there are clear plans to electrify all remaining Network Rail lines in London?

Answer by Boris Johnson

As explained in my response to MQ 2554 / 2012, I wrote to the former Secretary of State in August to again seek a way forward on electrification of the Gospel Oak – Barking Line. In her response, she committed her officials to support work with TfL, Network Rail, train operators and other industry parties to see if a viable way can be found to bridge the funding gap. These discussions are under way.

The other significant train services in London still using diesel traction are longer distance services on the Midland Main Line (MML), Great Western Main Line (GWML) and Chiltern line. The Government has committed to electrifying both the MML and GWML over the next few years.

My Transport Strategy supports the electrification of all rail services in London. Nonetheless, electrification of the Chiltern line and other sections of route distant from London (which would allow electric long distance services such as Exeter – Waterloo and Aberdeen/Inverness – King’s Cross) will inevitably be a lower priority for the Government because of the high costs involved, and limited benefits.

Main question

Jenny Jones