This week, CECA was a joint signatory to a letter to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, calling for a rolling programme of electrification on Britain’s railways to meet 2040 decarbonisation targets.
The letter, which you can read in full here, argues that electrified railways:
- Are better for the environment, with carbon emissions 60% lower than diesel trains today and 80% lesswith the estimated 2040 grid mix, and are the only option for decarbonising intensively used lines;
- Produce no air pollutants at the point of use;
- Are quieter, reducing noise pollution for those living and working near the tracks and reduces noise and vibration for passengers;
- Have a strong economic and business case – compared with diesels, electric trains cost less in the long term when compared to the whole-life costs of diesel services, are cheaper to build, more reliable requiring less maintenance, and are cheaper to operate and longer-lasting;
- Are lighter weight, meaning less wear to the track and therefore less maintenance, and carry more passengers; also, acceleration is better and journey times shorter, even with relatively frequent stops;
- Reduce passenger delays, as electric trains are more reliable than diesel trains;
- Will be vital in decarbonising rail freight, which is already a low carbon mode of haulage and delivers benefits in excess of £1.7bn each year to the economy.
Other signatories to the letter were:
- Campaign for Better Transport
- Campaign to Electrify Britain’s Railway
- Electrical Contractors Association (ECA)
- Northern Rail Industry Leaders (NRIL)
- Rail Freight Group (RFG)
- Rail Forum Midlands (RFM)
- Railway Industry Association (RIA).
Commenting, CECA Chief Executive Alasdair Reisner said: “It is essential that the UK moves swiftly to meet its carbon reduction commitments. Our transport network provides one of the biggest areas of opportunity in this regard, and rail electrification is an essential part of this.”