Latest Rail News

29.01.18

RDG claims 1,300 extra carriages expected by 2021

There will be 1,300 more new carriages than expected debuting on the UK rail network by 2021.

Initial projections from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) indicated that there would be around 5,700 new carriages brought into commission, but recent deals have shown this estimate to be low.

In fact, around 7,000 more carriages are expected to be in service within the next three years part of an overall plan to improve customer satisfaction and bring around £85bn of additional projected benefits.

The RDG says deals currently agreed on new stock are thought to total approximately £13.8bn in investment, although many of the projects are still far from completion.

The group also listed a number of replacement programmes which are adding to the expanded carriage estimates, such as the replacement of Northern’s infamous Pacer stock and the introduction of the new fleet of Caledonian Sleeper trains.

Responding to the news, Paul Plummer, chief executive of the RDG, commented: “With thousands of new, state-of-the-art carriages coming on track over the next three years, the partnership railway’s long-term plan is transforming journeys up and down the country.

“These new carriages will enable rail companies to work together to deliver on their commitment of at least 6,400 extra services a week, better connecting communities and helping to boost local economies from Aberdeen all the way to Penzance.”

The development of new stock for the Elizabeth Line is also a major contributory factor, with nearly 600 new carriages expected – an issue which David Sherrin, senior project manager for rolling stock at TfL, spoke to RTM about in 2017.

A number of the programmes involve the introduction of all or part of an electric train fleet, for example the new GWR Electrostars which were integrated into the network earlier this month.

“Rail customers want modern, comfortable and reliable trains and the private and public sectors working together are delivering thousands of new carriages to improve journeys around the country,” said Malcolm Brown, chair of the industry’s Rolling Stock Strategy Steering Group.

“Private sector investment in new rolling stock orders are now at a historically high level and innovation by manufacturers will see technology utilised to make trains greener, more intelligent and more accessible than ever.

“Our priority is now to ensure that all passengers across the network benefit from this new rolling stock and the sustainable investment in existing trains through careful fleet management.”

Following today’s revelation, the RDG’s long-term rolling stock strategy, published later this spring, is expected to say that the total number of carriages running on Britain’s railway is estimated to increase from 13,000 to 15,900 – a growth of 22%.

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Comments

Graham Pauling   29/01/2018 at 20:33

How is any of this a "revelation"? Both Modern Railways and Rail magazines, plus the DfT own announcements in 2017, have listed the number of new vehicles coming in service between 2017 and 2022.

Andrew Gwilt   29/01/2018 at 20:48

Well it’s a North/South divide. The South (including London) will get more newer trains and keep some older trains. Whilst the North (including Manchester) will have a mixture of new and mostly older ageing trains.

Simhedges   29/01/2018 at 22:47

"In fact, around 7,000 more carriages are expected to be in service within the next three years" and "the total number of carriages running on Britain’s railway is estimated to increase from 13,000 to 15,900". So, 2,900 more carriages, not 7,000 more carriages.

Paul   30/01/2018 at 01:42

Well if there is indeed a North/South divide, going by the new trains I have so far witnessed I envy the people in the North! Modern train seating is about as comfortable as a rock, armrests have disappeared to allow more standing room yet it only results in the inner person "hanging" into the aisle. Windows where available usually miss seats. It's a disgrace that today comfort and a good "experience" are not even considered because of DFT's obsession with standing capacity and TOC's buying the cheapest seats on the market. Sadly this even extends to Inter City routes now and the carnage will be complete with IEP's on VTEC. sorry Azuma's, must remember the gimmicks!

Andrew JG   30/01/2018 at 09:13

Well the North needs more trains because it’s struggling to keep up with the rest of the UK and it does take ages to go from major cities such as Liverpool to Hull, Manchester to Leeds, Manchester to York etc. With HS2 on the way that will go from London to Birmingham, Manchester and the North once it’s completed in 2026. And the Ordsall Chord that has been completed with trains coming to & from any Town & City in the North that has provided a new link to get into Manchester stations much easier than before. And to relieve the bottleneck. Whilst the South has improved with better railways and more people using the trains to commute into London & other cities in the South has increased. Plus with Crossrail (Elizabeth Line) that will open in stages with people commuting to London from Essex, East Anglia and Reading. Plus you can even go to Heathrow Airport when the Elizabeth Line is operated in full capacity From December 2019. Aswell money being well spent on the Thameslink project.

Jerry Alderson   30/01/2018 at 13:24

As Simhedges correctly points out the good news story is about the *net increase* in the number of carriages. The 7,000 statistic is of little value on its own. The rail industry has to replace carriages just to stand still in terms of average age. Of course, age of train carriages isn't as important as how reliable and comfortable they are, along with being cost effective to operate. Old carriages that have been refurbished can be very good indeed, so it's not all about new carriages (something that the media fail to grasp in their headlines about the age of the train fleet).

Jerry Alderson   30/01/2018 at 13:28

Adding to my own comment... Last week I was on a Eurostar refurbished e300 train and it was stunning. Sitting in the carriage you'd have no idea that it was 24 years ago and that Eurostar will send much of the fleet to the scrapheap.

M   30/01/2018 at 16:03

“Rail customers want modern, comfortable and reliable trains and the private and public sectors working together are delivering thousands of new carriages to improve journeys around the country,” said Malcolm Brown, chair of the industry’s Rolling Stock Strategy Steering Group. Of course it doesn't matter how modern, comfortable and reliable the new stock is if the signalling, track and other infrastructure isn't improved and upgraded to match. Network Rail need to up their game and ensure instances of track circuit failures, signalling and points problems are reduced as far as practicable.

Anonymous   31/01/2018 at 09:02

Who cares about the North. All they want right now is HS2. As they are still struggling. Whilst the South will still be getting more and more trains for busier lines that passengers need extra seats to commute.

Rayk   31/01/2018 at 09:41

In 2013 the ORR reduced NR's allowance for day to day running, maintenance and renewals by over 8% for CP5. During this period NR has achieved massive savings. It appears that it might have been better to spend at least some of that 8% to achieve further reliability improvements.

Paul   31/01/2018 at 15:31

@Anonymous/Andrew, have you not noticed recent statistics suggesting ridership has plateau'd and in many areas started falling? This hasn't stopped Dft/TOC's continuing their passenger unfriendly tactic of using smaller less comfortable seats so more people can stand of course!

Anonymous   31/01/2018 at 21:33

@Paul. True.

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