Electrification is playing a critical role in the upgrade of Britain’s railways, and even more investment is expected in the next control period.
Part of the Railway Upgrade Plan devised by Network Rail, electrification is crucial in providing faster, reliable train journeys that will improve the passenger experience.
The Department for Transport is working closely with Network Rail to deliver significant electrification projects.
Already, a number of electrification projects have been completed, including on London Overground’s Gospel Oak to Barking line, which will ensure the line can run new, longer trains.
And looking forward to Control Period 6, Network Rail will invest £47 billion on the country’s railways – outlined in its Strategic Business Plan.
The operator of England’s railways has made it clear that “thousands of companies” will benefit from the project opportunities that include the likes of electrification.
A key element in the drive to push the drive in electrification is the installation of overhead line equipment (OLE), which refers to wires and supporting infrastructure that carries the necessary electricity to power the network’s electric trains.
The installation of OLE is therefore critical in allowing electric trains to run; this in turn improves the environment and overall, gives the country cleaner, more reliable travel.
It is important too because it means the costs of maintaining and running the railway will decrease, allowing that money to be focused on other areas.
In the short and long term, electrification will support economic growth; in the short term – and even beyond – Network Rail’s contract opportunities for suppliers and installers of OLE means businesses in the UK will be able to win projects such as this.
In the long term, economic growth will be supported because electrification will improve connectivity between towns and cities throughout the country, giving the potential for businesses to locate into many of these well-connected regions.
And once the lines are in place, companies specialising in OLE will be sought after for maintenance purposes, making sure any power supply failure or mechanical problems are dealt with.