Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 1320 - 1339)

  1320. Yes.
  (Mr Berryman) There is not a goods lift.

  1321. There was going to be a replacement goods loop provided.
  (Mr Berryman) Goods loop?

  1322. What did you think I said, just out of interest, Mr Berryman?
  (Mr Berryman) Sorry, I thought you said "lift". There is another goods loop to be provided at Chadwell Heath from memory, Goodmayes to Chadwell Heath.

  1323. That is the replacement goods loop and that does not need to be done now.
  (Mr Berryman) That will still be done.

  1324. That is still being done, is it? I see. Why is that now still being done when before it was as a result of the closure of the previous loop?
  (Mr Berryman) Well, certainly if this loop was closed that would be absolutely essential. The railway could not operate without that loop. But we now have the opportunity of keeping this loop open because of the selective door opening and we will take that opportunity because, as the Committee will hear in due course, freight operators in particular are extremely anxious about the removal of any infrastructure from the proposed scheme and they have lobbied us quite hard to keep the loop in. In fact just this morning because I wanted to make sure Network Rail had not changed their mind—occasionally they do do that—I checked with them and the position still is they are quite adamant they want this loop if it can possibly be kept in,

  1325. BARNONESS FOOKES: And the other loop.
  (Mr Berryman) And the other loop as well.

  1326. MR REED: Let us be clear. First, the other loop was there as an essential replacement of the loop at Manor Park and now it is going to be provided in addition to what is being kept at Manor Park; is that right, Mr Berryman?
  (Mr Berryman) It is absolutely right, yes. You are getting into some very complex areas about train planning and operational flexibility and resilience which perhaps this is not the right --- I can go into it if your Lordships wish.

  1327. CHAIRMAN: We have got a week of hearings on this subject later.

  1328. MR REED: It is not a question I want to investigate with Mr Berryman. I do not much mind about the reasoning behind it. What I do want to know however is what the additional loop is going to cost?
  (Mr Berryman) It is about 12 million quid, I think.

  1329. How much?
  (Mr Berryman) Give me a minute to think.

  1330. Did you say 12 million?
  (Mr Berryman) More than that. Probably about £20 million. I am not prepared for that question.

  1331. CHAIRMAN: This is the Chadwell Heath one?
  (Mr Berryman) Yes.

  1332. MS LIEVEN: On detailed points like that, I think it might be better if we provided a note and checked the figures. Obviously it is a massive project and there are huge numbers of bits of it and what it costs, so we will find out that figure and inform the Committee.

  1333. MR REED: Let us assume it is 20 million—and we will see if it does come up like that—what is that as a proportion of the total cost of the Crossrail project? Maybe you can do that off the top of your head.
  (Mr Berryman) It is a very small proportion. I am sure Lord Jones would be able to tell you the proportion.

  1334. But nevertheless one you were willing to make given the circumstances—and I do not want to delve into it—and I think you talk about longevity and operational matters; is that right.
  (Mr Berryman) Yes, "willing to make" is perhaps stating it the wrong way round. It is something that we would be reluctant not to do because of the important impact on operational resilience and the ability to actually run the train service. If we cannot run the train service that we plan to run, there is absolutely no point in making the investment in the railway at all and it becomes nugatory, so it is very important that we get consent from the Rail Regulator and other competent authorities to run the train services that we want to run. In this case, this very much strengthens that case.

  1335. CHAIRMAN: Mr Reed, I am so sorry but what is it that you are driving at because at the present moment I do not think any of us is clear. What is it that you want to achieve?

  1336. MR REED: My Lord, what I want to achieve is lift upgrades at Manor Park and Maryland, but the reason I investigate the question of the loop is firstly to understand the extent to which Crossrail was willing to alter its plans and spend more money in a particular regard elsewhere. That is to meet the point, if you recall, that was being made that in the context of the total costs of Crossrail, whilst it might be a very small proportion to upgrade, nevertheless Crossrail's budget is made up of those little small proportions.

  1337. CHAIRMAN: Mr Reed, I do not think we are ever as a Select Committee going to come to a conclusion on this until we have heard from the freight rail people and probably Railtrack and so on later on, because how important this is in relation to your wider platform is going to be part of a much bigger picture.

  1338. MR REED: My Lord, yes. The second point is this—and I was going to make it by way of submission but I will deal with it now because your Lordship asks—is that first the additional loop was a requirement brought about by the proposed works in this location but the question then arises should credit be given for the costs that are capable of being saved by no longer having that particular requirement in place.

  1339. CHAIRMAN: I think you are going to have to take this fairly briefly because I do not think we are going to come to any sort of judgment on it until we have heard more about the freight rail situation.

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