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Electrification commitments beyond CP6 key to unlocking rolling stock growth – RDG

Britain’s railway needs a continued programme of electrification beyond CP6 to help accommodate an expanding national fleet, which could nearly double in size by 2045, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has stated in their latest rolling stock strategy.

The new report says that currently 8,099 of the 19,337 single track miles (STMs) controlled by Network Rail, or 42%, are electrified. The presently committed programme of electrification will take the proportion of track mileage that is electrified to 51%. 

The RDG say that electrification could reach 62% by 2034 in a low electrification scenario, 67% by 2039 in a medium scenario, and 72% by 2045 in a high scenario.

It added that electrification could reduce costs of rolling stock operation while increasing capacity, reliability and environmental benefits.

In CP4, 204 STMs were electrified, and 91 were electrified in 2014-15, in the north-west of England and Scotland.

Major electrification programmes on TransPennine and Midland Main Line have been delayed into CP6 owing to ongoing pressures on Network Rail’s finances and resources.

However, since the Department for Transport do not have an electrification strategy beyond the Hendy report, it’s not clear whether it will be possible to implement the amount of electrification needed.

The report says that the current national passenger fleet includes a total of 12,986 trains, which could increase to 19,368 by CP11 (March 2045) in a low scenario, 21,874 in a medium scenario and 25,521 in a high scenario.

Britain’s rail fleet is growing rapidly, with at least 3,781 new electric or bi-mode vehicles due to be delivered in CP5, compared to 1,055 in CP4.

However, a major change in the latest strategy has been the re-scheduling of Network Rail’s commitments to electrification in CP5 and CP6, following the Hendy Review. The total net increase in fleet size had already been forecast to be lower in CP6 than in CP5, following completion of the very large orders for the Thameslink, Crossrail and Super Express Train (IEP) projects. But the slower pace of the electrification programme will result in an increase in the number of new diesel and bi-mode vehicles, but further orders for new electric vehicles in CP6 will result from electrification and refranchising in CP5 and CP6.

RDG added that a continuing programme of electrification would produce a flow of mid-life DMUs for potential use on non-electrified routes. On this basis it had originally been calculated that there would be only a small requirement for new diesel or other self-powered rolling stock in CP5 or CP6.

In spite of changes in forecasting methodology and external factors, the total national passenger fleet is forecast to grow by between 51% in the ‘Low’ scenario and 99% in the ‘High’ scenario over the next 30 years, while the proportion of vehicles that will use electric traction is forecast to rise from 70% today to over 90% by 2034 in all scenarios.

The analysis indicates that between 13,000 and 20,000 new electric vehicles and up to 1,900 new non-electric vehicles will be required over the 30 years to 2045.


Andrew G   28/03/2016 at 21:49

Electrification across England and across the UK is vital as most railway lines are already electrified with DC 750v 3rd Rail and AC 25kv (25,000v) Overhead and other lines that are not electrified or classed as Non-Electrified railway lines which some of the railway lines are due to be electrified in parts of Scotland, South Wales, West Country, Southwest England, Northern England, Greater Manchester, Trans-Pennine Routes, Merseyside (including Liverpool & Wirral), Northwest England, Northeast England, The Midlands, Eastern England, Greater London & Southeast England and Southern England. Plus Ireland's and Northern Ireland's railway lines are also Electrified and Non-Electrified which some lines that are not electrified would soon be electrified with 25kv Overhead with new rolling stocks.

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