Pas­sen­ger op­er­a­tors’ CO2 emis­sions fall in 2017-18

Rail (UK) - - News -

Harm­ful car­bon diox­ide emis­sions caused by Britain’s rail­ways fell in 2017-18 for pas­sen­ger and freight op­er­a­tions.

Statis­tics re­leased by the Of­fice of Rail and Road (ORR) on Oc­to­ber 18 re­veal that pas­sen­ger ser­vices gen­er­ated 6.9% fewer CO emis­sions per pas­sen­ger-kilo­me­tre in 2017-18 than in pre­vi­ous years.

Pas­sen­ger ser­vices used 3.5% more elec­tric­ity than in 201617 - 3.64 mil­lion kilo­watt-hours (kWh) - but 1.1% less diesel, with 496 mil­lion litres used. Over­all, the pas­sen­ger rail­way pro­duced 2,765 kilo­tonnes in 2017-18, down 6.6% from the pre­vi­ous year. The ORR cred­its this im­proved en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance to a tran­si­tion to­wards re­new­able en­ergy sources in the elec­tric­ity sec­tor.

Emis­sions from the freight sec­tor re­mained broadly sim­i­lar to pre­vi­ous years, although the amount of elec­tric­ity used in­creased by 13.8% to 66 mil­lion kWh, and the amount of diesel con­sumed fell by 2.5% to 197 mil­lion litres. The freight sec­tor cre­ated 605 kilo­tonnes of CO emis­sions (down 2.9% com­pared with 2016-17) and 33g CO per tonne-kilo­me­tre (an in­crease of 0.4%). The ORR says the de­crease in CO emis­sions is due to some freight op­er­a­tors run­ning more trains with elec­tric trac­tion.

The rail in­fra­struc­ture, as­sets and en­vi­ron­men­tal sta­tis­ti­cal re­lease also shows that three new sta­tions opened (at Cam­bridge North, Ilke­ston and Low Moor), and that 36% of the rail net­work is now elec­tri­fied, with a to­tal of 5,766km (3,583 miles) pow­ered by elec­tric­ity.

The rail net­work has 15,878km of routes open for traf­fic, with a to­tal of 31,046 track-kilo­me­tres.

The over­all size of the net­work in­creased by 67km in 2017-18, although the ORR says this could be due to a move to a new sys­tem used by Net­work Rail (through which a num­ber of data im­prove­ment and cleans­ing ac­tions were un­der­taken), rather than “an ac­tual phys­i­cal change on the ground”.

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