89% fleet in­crease

UK train fleet to al­most dou­ble by 2047

Rail (UK) - - Front Page - Richard Clin­nick As­sis­tant Ed­i­tor richard.clin­nick@bauer­me­dia.co.uk @Clin­nick1

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.

EIKI SEKINE.

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.

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