Rolling stock

24.10.18

Age of UK’s rolling stock decreasing thanks to a range of new fleets

The average age of trains in the UK has decreased following the introduction of new fleets, figures from the ORR show.

The rail regulator has revealed figures showing a 0.6-year reduction in the average age of UK trains in 2017-18 compared to last year.

Govia Thameslink Railway has the youngest fleet, an average age of 11.83 years, after they introduced a new set of Class 700 trains.

By contrast, the Caledonian Sleeper fleet are the oldest on average, at a massive 38.48 years.

However, this fleet is due to be replaced in June 2019 with a new fleet of MK 5 trains, following a trend of new trains being rolled in over the past few years.

The UK’s rail fleets are constantly aging, with the average age of rolling stock for franchised operators rising by 7.4 years between 2006-7 and 2016-17.

Due to the 10-year period used, a 7.4 increase is considered a decrease in average age and is “a reflection of continual introduction of newer rolling stock or retirement of older vehicles from the national fleet.”

TfL Rail managed to achieve the biggest reduction in average age, lowering it by 12.44 years this year after they introduced a fleet of Class 345 Aventras which replaced the old Class 315s from 1980-81.

The ORR said that the rail industry is committed to deliver almost 7,200 new trains between 2014 and 2021, with Great Western Railway, Greater Anglia, Merseyrail, South Western Railway and West Midlands Trains all introducing new stock in the near future.

The ORR says this should mean the average age of the fleet should be lowered to 15 years by March 2021.

Image credit - mbbirdy

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