Panel debate at TCR Midlands

Creating a net-zero network to help meet the country's climate ambitions

Despite the numerous projects currently ongoing within the rail sector climate change still presents the industry with a whole range of issues.

Extreme weather events continue to become a greater issue because of climate change and this presents huge problems.

There was no greater example of this than the disruption caused by the recent storms Eunice, Dudley and Franklin.

At last months TCR Midlands conference rail industry leaders discussed the ways in which rail can play its part in helping the country achieve its net-zero targets.

Rob Davies, Global Rolling Stock Director at Arup spoke on how an expanded and integrated rail network can help tackle climate change.

Mr Davies said: “When I look around the world at some of the places I’ve worked on trains and rolling stock projects the best examples are large urban areas.

“I think the key feature is to have a multi-tiered system.

“So you have that long distance connectivity that allows people and freight to connect and move through.

“But you also have the local connections.

“There are a range of solutions to be sustainable and help meet net-zero targets and the railway is a key contributor to help level up different contributors.”

The rail freight sector is already helping tackle climate with innovative technology being introduced like the recent overhead electrification system shown in Northamptonshire.

George Davies, Director of Sustainability at RSSB commented on what more the rail industry must do to promote rail as a way of tackling the climate emergency.

Mr Davies said: “We must make sure… that the Government bodies, the funders and the local and regional planning authorities see the value in a commitment to the railway.

“It’s not just about investing in a new piece of infrastructure its about being clear on why that infrastructure is needed and how it will enable people to have a better quality of life.”

Data from the Office of Rail and Road shows that rail emissions amount to 0.5% of the UK’s total CO2 emissions.


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