Electrification works

UK: The Railway Industry Association has launched a RailDecarb23 campaign urging the government to take three steps to accelerate plans to decarbonise rail and reach Net Zero by 2050.

These are to:

  • immediately implement a rolling programme of cost-effective electrification on intensively-used lines;
  • ramp-up orders of low carbon rolling stock using new traction methods on less intensively-used parts of the network, including hydrogen and battery;
  • work with suppliers so they never lose out for offering lower carbon products, but are incentivised to reduce emissions.

RIA said the targets of removing all diesel-only trains from the network by 2040 and achieving a fully net zero railway by 2050 are currently likely to be missed. It added that mainland Europe has 57% of its main line network electrified, while in the UK the proportion is 38%.

‘By investing in a structured decarbonisation plan, the government would not only enable rail to play a fuller role in securing net zero, but would also give the supply sector the certainty it needs to plan ahead and deliver efficiently whilst creating jobs, investment and economic growth’, said RIA Chief Executive Darren Caplan on March 9.