UK: The Rail Safety and Standards Board has commissioned Ricardo and Mott MacDonald to develop a decarbonisation action plan for the UK rail industry.

This will clarify responsibilities, determine achievable timescales and provide a framework for measuring, monitoring and reporting on decarbonisation efforts.

It will include:

  • assessment of existing carbon reduction plans and obligations across the rail industry;
  • evaluation of decision support tools and modelling techniques;
  • proposals for accountability, monitoring, performance measurement and feedback mechanisms;
  • an industry endorsed approach to coordinating responses to support whole-system and whole-life results;
  • a framework for developing sub-sector industry carbon action plans.

The project is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2022.

Ricardo said the UK has set ‘ambitious targets’, including a commitment to remove diesel-only trains by 2040, but ‘without a shared plan there remained the risk that uncoordinated responses by individual organisations would fail to achieve the efficiencies and momentum of a unified approach.’

Mairi Joyce, project principal at Mott MacDonald, said ‘this is an exciting project bringing together our cross-sector carbon management, rail advisory and stakeholder engagement experience’.

Ricardo has previously worked on RSSB projects looking at decarbonisation and air quality improvement, as well as the cost of hydrogen and battery traction.