The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is pleased that the Decarbonisation Task Force has supported its belief that electrification is the “optimal form of transport.”
Technical Director, Darren Clarke, was a member of the task force that highlighted the importance of electrification and other emerging technologies such as hydrogen and hybrid trains, in the fight to reduce the carbon footprint on the UK’s railways.
It is part of the ambition to remove diesel-only trains from the railways by 2040, which will help to make lines emission-free, and also reduce pollution that blights the towns and cities of the UK.
The RIA, which is one of the most influential voices in the UK rail supply community, played a part on the Decarbonisation Task Force – led by Malcolm Brown – to set out the response of the wider industry to the government’s challenge to decarbonise the rail network.
Mr Clarke, welcomed the report as a “vital step,” which set out low-emission technologies that will help with this process.
He said: The RIA welcomes the report published as a vital step in achieving the government’s challenge of decarbonising the rail network by 2040, setting out a range of options including electrification, hybrid, battery and hydrogen technology.
“Crucially, the report supports the RIA’s view that electrification remains the optimal form of traction for intensively used railways, where appropriate.
“Now, the industry will set out how it can deliver electrification schemes cost-effectively, which will be explored further in the RIA’s Electrification Cost Challenge report.
“We welcome the government’s positive response to the report and we look forward to working with them further on this important issue.”
The call for electrification is one that has reverberated around the industry for some time; a cross-party Transport Select Committee has implored the government to prioritise electrification, and this latest step appears to show that they are listening.