Examination of Witnesses (Questions 10220
10220. That removes an element of optimism from
the figures, does it?
(Mr Berryman) Indeed and these figures already include that
being taken into account.
10221. Very well. In response to my Lord's question
earlier, are any of these infrastructure items or any of the items
specifically ring-fenced within the funding at the moment?
(Mr Berryman) No, not in that way. The reason for that is
primarily because a lot of the works, and particularly on the
surface works, will be combined and done at the same time. If
you take as an example the West Drayton loop, that would probably
be done at the same time as the electrification is done, and so
although these figures are used to build up the estimate, they
do not necessarily relate to the contract packages that will be
let when the time comes.
10222. In reality, what do you think the likelihood
is of having to do all or the majority of the works that are stipulated?
(Mr Berryman) I think it is very likely. If the traffic patterns
continue as they are now, if we can make an agreement with Heathrow
Airport Limited to use their private railway and so on, which
we fully expect to do, I would anticipate all these works, plus
some others will be done as well.
10223. We are on the very narrow territory of
expecting to have to do all or most of these works but still wanting
to retain some flexibility. I would like you to make it clear
to your Lordships why it is you consider that flexibility is desirable.
(Mr Berryman) I think the first thing to say is some of the
works which are required may be replaced by other works conceivably.
I think you have already heard that the current timetable modelling
shows that we are only achieving about 74 per cent PPM. We hope
to improve that obviously and two of the main things which we
will do to improve that are to improve the kind of rolling stock
that is used on the railway and, secondly, to improve the maintenance
standards, in other words the quality of the maintenance which
is done on the railway. We may also need to do further infrastructure
works over and above the works which are set out in this schedule.
If you take as an example the Chadwell Heath loop, I think this
is quite an unlikely example, but take it as an example, we may
find it necessary that on the east side of London instead of one
loop at Chadwell Heath, we need two loops. It is perfectly possible
within the existing railway alignment and can be done using the
permitted development rights of Network Rail. What that would
mean is we would not need to build a Chadwell Heath loop. I only
put that forward as a potential example. I do not have any realistic
expectation that that will be the case, but it is the kind of
thing that could happen and may happen as the design and the modelling
is further developed and refined.
10224. Mr Berryman, are there any examples here
of infrastructure which are designed for a specific purpose? Ignore
Acton dive-under for the moment?
(Mr Berryman) Hanwell Bridge sidings is an example where
it is primarily there to deal with two flows: one is what we call
the bin liners, the rubbish trains which go up to Calvert and
the other one is an aggregate or a stone flow which goes down
to a stone terminal down towards Brentford. There is no certainty
about the long-term future of the bin liners going to Calvert;
the pit there that they are currently using is almost full. There
are other pits nearby which may get planning consent, so that
flow may continue, but it is also conceivable that it does not
continue and there would then be little point in building that
rather expensive £40 million of work if there is no likely
flow for it. It is that type of issue where we want to return
10225. Just to go a step further, are these
infrastructure works the only works that would be required which
would have an impact on freight capacity?
(Mr Berryman) By no means. I was quite surprised to see that
neither of the Petitioners had included the Maidenhead works in
their Petition. These works will cost about £80 million and
will effectively be essential to allow freight trains to continue
to use the timetable paths that we have already identified. There
are a couple of other smaller points. It kind of seems a bit arbitrary
to me, which things are included and which things are not.
10226. The Maidenhead works, I think you described
those last week, they are the works which allow you to turn the
trains around at Maidenhead without having to take out a freight
path, is that right?
(Mr Berryman) Yes. There are two or three issues at Maidenhead.
We need to turn trains. There is also a siding which comes down
from Bourne End and Marlow where trains for that need to turn.
There are currently five platforms, so we could turn our trains
there quite happily without doing any extra works but it would
obstruct freight paths if we were to do that.
10227. That, of course, would cause a conflict
and might bring in the change control mechanism.
(Mr Berryman) In that case it certainly would.
10228. Those works, if you are not going to
have a problem with the change control mechanism, would have to
be carried out?
(Mr Berryman) That is right.
10229. Mr Berryman, I do not have any further
questions on those. I do not know if my lords have any questions
on those specific issues.
Examined by THE
10230. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: These
possible variations and the reasons why you need the flexibility
et cetera, have you discussed any of these possibilities with
the Rail Freight Group because one of the comments made this morning
was that they were not aware of any alternatives?
(Mr Berryman) No, my Lord. Just to make it clear,
we have not got any alternatives on the table at the moment. I
am just raising the possibility that further design work and further
modelling work may throw up the need for a slightly different
approach in some areas. Of course, if that was the case, then
that would go through the Timetable Reference Group in any event.
In that case, all the Petitioners will become aware of it.
10231. I just wondered whether there had been
any discussions on this.
(Mr Berryman) No, my Lord.
10232. MR ELVIN: Mr Berryman, indeed
under the change control mechanism and the access option any variation
in the assumptions and the modelling, which includes the infrastructure
works, have to be agreed with the industry or by the independent
approval of the ORR?
(Mr Berryman) That is correct, yes. The whole point of the
change control mechanism is to allow that to happen.
10233. There is a proper mechanism for managing
by consulting the industry and then the ORR if necessary for varying
those assumptions in due course?
(Mr Berryman) That is correct, yes, and the ORR would carry
on a consultation exercise themselves in that case.
10234. LORD SNAPE: Just on the costings
that you produced between you, were they available before? Did
you do them yourself or have you consulted outside?
(Mr Berryman) My Lord, I rang up our quantity surveyors in
the morning break and got the figures. Of course they are part
of the much bigger estimate for the whole project.
10235. As the result of a phone call you can
confidently predict that all this work will cost £45 million?
(Mr Berryman) It is not as the result of a phone call, my
Lord, it has been work that has been going on for several years.
The phone call was merely to elicit the information from the people
who had been doing the work.
10236. You did not think you were going to be
(Mr Berryman) I did not, no, my Lord.
10237. CHAIRMAN: Are these figures going
to get on to the record in some shape or form?
10238. MR ELVIN: I can submit them as
a formal exhibit. I am perfectly happy to do that.
10239. CHAIRMAN: It might be of some