Friday, 10 June 2011

DafT promises North even older trains!

Does anyone in the Department actually believe the guff they supply as responses to PQs?

This written answer given in the Upper House yesterday...

Lord Bradshaw (Liberal Democrat)
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for reducing the average age in rolling stock on the Northern Rail franchise, given that the average age of trains is now 25.7 years.

Earl Attlee (Whip, House of Lords; Conservative)
The Government confirmed the electrification of the routes Liverpool to Manchester via Newton-le-Willows, Huyton-Wigan, Preston to Blackpool and Manchester to Preston in November 2010. This will enable younger electric trains to operate on these routes. Future use of rolling stock on the Northern Rail franchise will be for the bidders to propose.

So what are these exciting 'younger trains'?

Presumably the Noble Lord is referring to DfT's plans to cascade some of the current Thameslink fleet Up North?

And would these units be the same as the Class 319s that are currently 24 years old?

And that will be a minimum of 28 years old by the time they dodder off to the North West!

UPDATE: This from He Who Protests Too Much...

If the 319s do go to Northern in 4 years time then OK they’ll be 28 years old by your calculation but the average age of the Northern fleet will also have increased to 29.7 by then so the 319s would indeed be younger as per the answer.

More importantly, 25.7 is the average age of the Northern fleet, some trains will be younger and some older, so assuming that the 319s will replace some of Northern’s older vehicles the average age will come down even further.

UPDATE: The Fact Compiler fumes...

Does nobody read exam questions any more?!?

Lord Bradshaw asked about reducing the average age of the Northern fleet from today's average age of 25.7 years.

Sending 28 year old electric trains North will not do this! (oh and the Adelantes will be leaving soon, increasing the average age of Northern's current fleet).

UPDATE: This from Chianothus Virginicus...

I think reference to "exam questions" in the light of Friday's revelations that exam papers have been set with questions which are impossible to answer or don't have the correct solution in the list of alternatives is quite apposite.

The DfT are experts at DafT answers !