89% fleet increase
UK train fleet to almost double by 2047
THE size of the national passenger fleet is expected to increase by up to 89% over the next 30 years, according to the Long-Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy for the Rail Industry (RSS), Fifth Edition.
Published by the Rail Delivery Group on March 10, the strategy highlights how £10 billion has already been committed to orders for new trains since 2014. The average age of the UK’s train fleets is also expected to drop from 21 to 15 years by March 2021.
RSSSG joint chairmen Malcolm Brown (CEO, Angel Trains) and Hugh Clancy (Commercial Director Rail, FirstGroup) said: “Modern, comfortable and reliable trains are key to improving the experience of rail passengers, and this strategy portrays a welcome picture of the private sector and government working together to invest in the nation’s future.
“With rolling stock orders now at an historically high level, the capability of the industry to build, deliver and bring into service reliable new trains is of critical importance. Innovation will mean greener train travel with energyefficient trains replacing older diesel-powered vehicles on many routes.”
The impact of the Brexit referendum and the decision to leave the European Union is highlighted as an unknown factor, but the strategy uses scenarios covered by the ‘worst case’ industry predictions.
RDG Chief Executive Paul Plummer said: “Since 2014, more than £10bn has been committed on orders for more than 6,000 new train carriages across Britain. “Some of these are already in service, and in the next few years passengers across the country will see the benefit of this tremendous investment.
“Rail is an ever more vital public service, and rail companies together are delivering billions of pounds of improvements to ease congestion and harness technology to run the extra trains that passengers want and the country needs.”
Electric vehicles (including bi-modes) will account for more than 85% of the passenger fleet by 2034, according to the strategy.
“Analysis indicates that between 11,000 and 16,000 new electric vehicles will be required over the 30 years to 2046,” it says, adding that another 800 to 2,300 vehicles
that can run away from electrified networks will also be needed in that same period.
The fifth RSS discusses a total fleet size in 2046 of 24,943 vehicles, which is a reduction on the 25,521 suggested in the High Scenario section of the fourth edition. This is attributed to the fact that “the railway is now in a period of several years where the total national fleet size will grow more rapidly than at any time in recent decades”.
It says the national fleet has grown by 3% in 2016-17, and forecasts the fleet to increase by 14%-15% by the end of Control Period 5 (March 31 2019), and by a further 5%-10% in Control Period 6 (April 1 2019-March 31 2024).
The RSS also confirms that while 6,010 new vehicles have already been delivered or committed for delivery, between 3,000 and 3,500 existing vehicles will be sent off-lease. These include: 1,600 shorter-distance self-powered diesel multiple units (capable of 75mph), long-distance self-powered diesels (100mph-125mph), shorterdistance electric multiple units (75mph) and long-distance EMUs (100mph-140mph); followed by 1,400 middle-distance EMUs (90mph-110mph) dating from 1981-1995 and long-distance EMUs (100mph-140mph); and 300 middle-distance self-powered DMUs (90mph-100mph) and middle-distance electrics (90mph110mph) dating from post-2002.
The RSS shows that of the current 13,377 vehicles on the national network, 51% (6,778) were built since privatisation and 11% (1,425) are owned by parties other than the three rolling stock leasing companies set up at the start of privatisation.
Crossrail 345005 passes Stratford on March 10, during testing on the Great Eastern Main Line. The ‘345’ will enter traffic in May. Over the next 30 years, the passenger fleet is expected to grow by 89%, according to a new study.