Huw calls for clarification on the future of the East Coast Main Line

Today in the chamber, Huw asked the Secretary of State for Transport a question about the East Coast Main Line. You can watch Huw's question here: and read below. 


I have served on the Transport Committee for the past few years, during which time we have examined the challenges that face train operators as a result of record investment in our Network Rail assets. Is it the Secretary of State’s view that the issue on the east coast main line is so acute that the only way to fix the Network Rail assets is to have it all as one operating entity?

Chris Grayling: 

On a rail network that is operating absolutely at capacity all round—when there are very few, if any, spare train cars; and when anything that goes wrong is hugely disruptive to the timetable—a joint operating team that is able to plan train services and engineering works as part of that same team, rather than in two different organisations, is a much better way  to operate a railway. My vision for the east coast main line, and indeed for other parts of the rail network where we are taking steps down the same path, is to create such a joined-up approach of managing track and train together. In my view, that is the best way to make a congested railway work more effectively for passe