Daniel Zeichner MP has urged East-West Rail to come clean over whether it will use polluting diesel trains on the new Cambridge-Oxford railway.
The company has revealed £40 million plans to lease second-hand trains for four years.
The East West Railway Company has issued an Invitation to Tender in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), for a train fleet for “3 car self-powered units with modifications including European Train Control System (“ETCS”) Level 2 and Driver Controlled Operation (“DCO”) capability”.
Mr Zeichner says this sounds like diesel and he has written to the company and Transport Secretary to seek urgent clarification.
The Cambridge MP says: “This simply doesn’t square with the pledge given by the East-West Rail Chairman that he would ‘not be buying a single litre of diesel’. This is deeply troubling especially when full rail electrification has been put back on the table. I back rail but we need 21st century solutions and that means an electrified, public railway. I very much hope the company has not been green-washing us while plotting to use diesel all along, as that could mean public support coming off the rails.”