§ Mr. Spearing
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what studies (i) he and (ii) other bodies responsible for planning of public transport made of the advantages of electrifying the half mile of railway between Acton main line station and Action Wells138W junction, with particular reference to (a) public transport to and from Heathrow airport, (b) orbital passenger services in London and (c) rail freight movement. 
§ Mr. Watts
[holding answer 29 October 1996]: None. The consultant engaged by the Department to carry out the London airports access study—LASAS—did, in examining various schemes to improve rail access to Heathrow, consider a rail link from Heathrow to the west coast main line, via acton Wells which would have required electrification of this part of the network. Although the WCML link was not one of the schemes shortlised by the LASAS consultants, there is nothing to prevent a promoter from pursuing the proposal if he believes that there is sufficient demand.
The electrification of this part of the network would be an operational matter for Railtrack, which, as owner of the infrastructure, is responsible for the maintenance and improvement of the rail infrastructure.