Latest Rail News


Electrification of railways sees CO2 emissions fall

CO2 emissions from passenger rail has fallen in the last year as a result of the use of greener energy sources as part of electrifying the UK railway, new statistics from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) have shown.

Overall CO2 emissions have decreased by 6.6% for passenger services and 2.9% for freight, continuing the trend of falling emissions per passenger km since 2005-06.

The report says that in 2017-18 passenger trains consumed 3,645m kWh of electricity, a 3.5% increase from 2016-17, and 496m litres of diesel, a 1.1% decrease.

These services still produced 2,765 KT of CO2 emissions, 40.8g CO2 per passenger km, which is down 6.9% from 2016-27.

The report said that there was a total of 5,766km of electrified route by the end of 2017-18, which has increased by 2% or 392km compared to the previous year.

A total of 36% of UK rail is now equipped with electric infrastructure, with Network rail’s electrification scheme currently on-going in areas in London, Scotland and on western routes.

The government has a legally binding Fifth Carbon Budget which says emissions must be reduced by 57% by 2032 compared to emission levels in 1990, and an 80% reduction by 2050.

The ORR’s report says that the fall in CO2 emissions is despite rises in the number of passengers and rises in energy usage.

David Clarke, the technical director of the Railway Industry Association, said: “Today’s findings from the ORR show the benefits of continued electrification of the rail network for sustainability and the environment.

“It is clear that electrification must be part of the solution in meeting the government’s challenge to industry to decarbonise the rail network by 2040, alongside emerging hydrogen and battery technologies.”

 Image credit - Danny Lawson/PA Archive/PA Images

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

RAIB, ORR and BTP all launch investigations after rail worker is killed by train

22/11/2018RAIB, ORR and BTP all launch investigations after rail worker is killed by train

The ORR, RAIB and the BTP have all launched investigations after a railway worker died when he was struck by a train at Stoats Nest Junction, Sur... more >
Crossrail could need even more bailout cash as Khan lashes out at ‘unfit’ governance

22/11/2018Crossrail could need even more bailout cash as Khan lashes out at ‘unfit’ governance

The capital’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, has revealed that the delayed and financially troubled Crossrail project will need even more cash injectio... more >
Coventry station £82m masterplan given the go-ahead by city council

21/11/2018Coventry station £82m masterplan given the go-ahead by city council

Groundbreaking plans to transform Coventry city centre and Coventry station have been given the official green light from the city’s counci... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News


HS2 train race: making the case

20/11/2018HS2 train race: making the case

Bombardier and Hitachi’s commitment to providing the best HS2 rolling stock pitch to the government was signified with the launch of their ... more >
Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

09/11/2018Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

Sponsored interview  Anything that brings about safety and time-saving benefits is a valued improvement for the rail industry, which is w... more >
Taking to the skies

30/10/2018Taking to the skies

Network Rail’s commitment to driving innovation is best encapsulated by its latest scheme involving high-definition imagery drones, or UAVs... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Crossrail and Crossrail 2: in the public eye

20/11/2018Crossrail and Crossrail 2: in the public eye

Since the shock announcement of the delay to Crossrail in September, taxpayers and decision-makers alike have been anxious to find out the latest... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Introducing iPort

20/11/2018Introducing iPort

Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, introduces the UK’s newest inland freight terminal. The UK’s newest inland rail ... more >
Maintaining light rail

20/11/2018Maintaining light rail

Dr Adam Bevan, Professor Paul Allen and Professor Jay Jaiswal, of the Institute of Railway Research, take a look at new rail asset management tec... more >
dessan Design in the digital railway

20/11/2018dessan Design in the digital railway

Denise Watkins, business development manager at Hitachi Information Control Systems Europe (HICSE), discusses her organisation’s exciting n... more >
Challenging the perceptions of rail

13/11/2018Challenging the perceptions of rail

Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Rail Industry Association (RIA) explains how the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme is challenging people’... more >