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14.07.15

'We do not foresee further programmes of this size and scale'

The Department for Transport has admitted that the era of major infrastructure upgrades and new fleets is over for the time being – except for HS2.

It says in its new ‘Rolling Stock Perspectives: Moving Britain Forward’ document that after Crossrail, the InterCity Express Programme and Thameslink are complete, “we do not foresee further programmes of this size and scale, led by the Department, in the short to medium term, with the exception of HS2”.

The document is worth a glance – it aims to be a “high-level whole railway overview of the aspirations in relation to rolling stock features by service group”, at least for the rolling stock for which the DfT is the franchising authority.

It also notes a trend away from interoperability, even though this is “desirable because such flexibility can make the operation of trains more efficient, and can facilitate service recovery after operational perturbation” and because it decreases residual value risk.

But the document says: “However, manufacturers are increasingly moving to manufacturer-specific train design ‘platforms’ with proprietary train control systems, and thus the trend in recent years has been away from interoperability between different fleets. We invite Network Rail, train operators, manufacturers and the supply chain to propose approaches to specification and procurement if they provide benefits as a result of interoperability between different train fleets across Britain.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Gb   28/08/2015 at 16:30

So its finally been admitted that HS2 is absorbing so much of the country's much needed rail budget that other projects are being postponed or cancelled. What a disgrace! There are numerous reinstatements, enhancements and developments which could and should be embarked upon to increase the capacity, connectivity and quality of our present railway system in preference to the very costly and unwanted HS2. When will the Govt. listen? Do we need an alternative Govt. to take the decision to scrap HS2?

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