WSP to deliver report on Roll-out battery-powered trains in the U.K

WSP to deliver report on Roll-out battery-powered trains in the U.K

Leading consulting firm WSP has been appointed by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) to advise on the delivery of battery-powered trains on the UK rail network.

The agreement will see the company work closely with industry stakeholders, including Network Rail and the Great British Railways Transition Team (GBRTT) to produce an evidence-based report which will provide industry with clear recommendations for the standardisation of battery-power within the U.K’s rail industry and the most efficient way of adopting the technology.

WSP has experience in this area already, as it has helped both the Norwegian and Swedish rail networks  will draw on its extensive experience of battery train development for the Norwegian and Swedish rail networks, and in the UK, where it has previously explored the potential for battery train operation for Network Rail and the GBRTT.

Rolling Stock

In 2018, DfT announced its ambition to remove all diesel-only trains from its network by 2040 and commitment to achieve net zero railways by 2050. According to the latest statistics from the Office of Rail and Road, electric rolling stock made up 71% of the network with Diesel and Bi-Mode making up the remaining 29%.

Steven Hart, associate director, Rail Planning at WSP, said: “Decarbonising the UK’s transport system will be key if we are to meet our climate commitments, and battery power’s potential as a cost-effective method of supporting these efforts is tremendous.

“We’re excited to be working collaboratively with RSSB and industry stakeholders to develop guidance for future standardised, safe and resilient battery train deployments in the UK and to support the rail industry in driving down its emissions in line with the UK’s net zero targets.”

It is hoped WSP’s work will support GBRTT’s emergent thinking around battery trains as part of its thirty-year strategy for rail, optimising the best solution for each battery route.

Aaron Barrett, RSSB lead research analyst said: “To date, the design and roll-out of battery trains has been undertaken on a scheme-by-scheme basis. This has resulted in bespoke designs with manufacturers having their own approach to battery charging. While this has supported more rapid deployments, it has the potential restrict operational flexibility and rolling stock cascade options in the future.”

Photo Credit: Istock

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