Examination of Witnesses (Questions 10240
10240. MR ELVIN: We will have them typed
up then at least they can be legible to all.
(Mr Berryman) Can I make the point, my Lord, that these are
first quarter 2007 prices, they are not the out-turn costs.
10241. CHAIRMAN: No, it says so.
10242. MR ELVIN: The final question I
have is in relation to Acton. Why was Acton included as a commitment
whereas the others have not been?
(Mr Berryman) I think the operation of the Acton Yard and
the way that works has been a long-standing problem for the railway
industry. You cannot move Acton Yard to somewhere else, it is
a big facility, it has to stay where it is. There really is not
any alternative in that particular location that is conceivable
which would get rid of the conflicting movements that occur there.
They occur there now. They will be made worse when Crossrail is
built if we did not do that dive-under. The reason for agreeing
to give an undertaking to do that is there really is no alternative
on that particular one.
10243. LORD SNAPE: How many movements
are we talking about in and out of the yard then?
(Mr Berryman) A substantial number, my Lord, it would be
30 or so a day at least. Each movement occupies about five or
six minutes, so it is quite a big determinant of the performance
of the Great Western now.
10244. CHAIRMAN: They are long trains,
are they not?
(Mr Berryman) Some of them are very long trains, my Lord,
some of them are the longest trains on the UK network.
10245. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: As
well as the interest of the Rail Freight Group and EWS, I expect
the train operating companies would also have a very significant
interest in this as we have already had a number of representations
and certainly in the Second Reading there was a great deal of
anxiety expressed about whether or not the fast trains coming
from South Wales in the West Country would suffer interference
when the Crossrail work got underway. Can we be assured that they
will have sight of this information?
(Mr Berryman) My Lord, that is a slightly different issue.
As you know, the Crossrail trains to south Wales and the West
Country use the fast lines through this area.
10246. MR ELVIN: I do not think you mean
Crossrail, Mr Berryman.
(Mr Berryman) I am sorry. The express trains which go down
to south Wales and the West Country, we use the fast pair of lines.
None of these works is on the fast lines, so their position, with
the exception of some works which need to be done to make connections
here and there, is absolutely unchanged from that which exists
10247. LORD BROOKE OF ALVERTHORPE: So
why the fears?
(Mr Berryman) The fears from the West Country people?
10248. Yes and from south Wales. A lot of people
have been lobbied.
(Mr Berryman) My Lords, I am sure they have. I have even
been down there myself to try and explain to the regional assembly
that there really is nothing to worry about. The problem is a
bit more fundamental. The train service down to that part of the
world at the moment and in the last few months and in the last
few years even has been what we call rubbish, I think that is
the technical term for it. People have a natural fear that anything
which interferes with what is already a rubbish service can only
make it worse. My answer to that is, yes, the service is very
poor and it needs to be improved, but those improvements are independent
and irrespective of the Crossrail works.
10249. So their fears are groundless?
(Mr Berryman) Their fears are groundless.
10250. MR ELVIN: If I can run with this
point, the majority of those who have petitioned on those issue
have withdrawn their Petitions?
(Mr Berryman) They have, that is correct, yes.
10251. And in terms of the issue that the freight
lobby raises, which is the question of infrastructure works being
required additional to the directions made by the ORR, have the
passenger TOCs made any similar representation?
(Mr Berryman) The answer to your question is no. The passenger
TOCs are in a rather different position because most of their
franchises will expire before the Crossrail service comes into
operation. I would not like to speak for them, of course, but
they are probably less exercised by this issue than the freight
10252. MR ELVIN: And the bottom line
figure should be 455, not 445. Thank you.
10253. MR GEORGE: Mr Berryman, going
back to where I started, so far as this figure, which I understand
is no longer 445 but 455, the 140 is already committed in the
sense that you have undertaken to construct the Acton dive-under.
That is right, is it not?
(Mr Berryman) That is correct, yes.
10254. And so far as the 170, that is the work
which you have said, I think, elsewhere that it really is inevitable
that something is going to have to be done in that particular
location within the limits of deviation of that particular work?
(Mr Berryman) Yes. That, of course, is subject to an agreement
with Heathrow Airport Limited that we can run trains on to their
network. Obviously commercial discussions with them are still
going on, and the commitment to do that work would only be made
if those discussions are fruitful and agreement can be reached
to run the trains down there.
10255. When I was cross-examining you a week
ago, Day 21/8192, I asked you a question: "There is no evidence
that the scheme could be achieved without these key freight infrastructure
works" and you replied to me: "Yes, you are absolutely
right, there is no evidence that that could be achieved without
doing the works which you have outlined". Those were the
works which I put to you. That was your answer then and I do not
understand you now to be going away from that answer.
(Mr Berryman) No. The situation that you have just described
is exactly as it is.
10256. Can I just look for a moment at Hanwell,
where you say that the waste tip may be becoming full and, therefore,
that work might not be needed. When you yourself were giving evidence
in relation to this matter, Day 21/8102, you said that there were
two kinds of trains, stone trains and rubbish trains, and so far
as those particular stone trains are concerned, we can see no
reason why they will not be continuing. There are two sets of
trains, one from Days, one from Yeomans; they are trains which
cross the lines and which will benefit from those particular works.
Do you know anything to suggest that that flow of stone trains
will not continue?
(Mr Berryman) No, there is nothing at all to suggest that,
but the way those trains operate at present is the stone train
comes from the West Country into Acton Yard, it is then broken
at Acton Yard and part of the train goes back down to serve the
terminals that you have mentioned, and if that mode of operation
continues then those movements will continue. But there is another
alternative in that the stone trains could come in directly from
the west. I am not suggesting they will. I really want to go back
to the point you made a few moments ago, Mr George, which is that
at the moment, as things stand now, it is our full expectation
that these works will be required to operate the railway, and
that is what we expect to be building, but the point is there
could be changes in operating patterns and there could be changes
in freight flows which may affect the necessity for some of these
10257. Now, let's look at the rubbish trains,
because so far as they are concerned they take rubbish from the
Brentford area, do they not, and at present they are taking it
to Calvert in Buckinghamshire, and when that particular location
becomes full the rubbish will still be coming from Brentford,
because it is Brentford area rubbish, down on to this line and
it may eventually have a different destination, but it will still
be rubbish which is causing the conflict with other trains and
which is going to require the works which have been identified
which are the Hanwell Bridge sidings.
(Mr Berryman) If the rubbish trains continue to go up the
line as you described up to Buckinghamshire or somewhere similar,
then, of course, this siding will be required. I understand the
Calvert tip is almost full, and whilst I understand there is a
high probability that another tip nearby will be opened up, it
is not certain they need to get planning consent for that. So
I will say it again, as things stand at the moment we would envisage
having to do all of these works, and I do not think we have ever
strayed from that suggestion in the course of these proceedings.
10258. As long as we are quite clear on that.
It is all a bit like the Greenford tram which you introduced.
It seems to me, the suggestions for this rubbish that "might"
not be there, or there "might" be a Greenford tramthey
are really spectres of a most improbable sort.
(Mr Berryman) I could not agree more with you, Mr George,
they are improbable, but improbable things do occasionally happen
and all I am saying is that, if one of those improbable things
happened, we would not wish to be tied to doing a particular piece
of infrastructure which was described to solve a particular problem
which no longer exists.
10259. Can we now turn to timing? When Network
Rail were here yesterday morning there were certain matters which
were not yet resolved about infrastructure management, but it
was agreed they would have to be resolved very soon, as I understood
it by the end of this year, because you could not achieve the
finalisation of the funding arrangements of the contract until
those matters had been resolved. Is my understanding on that correct?
(Mr Berryman) Yes.