Wires can decarbonise freight
There are ‘no regrets’ schemes for electrification that would support rail freight, according to Rail Delivery Group freight board member Paul Smart.
The former Freightliner Heavy Haul Managing Director told Transport Select Committee MPs: “The port of Thames Gateway is less than two miles from the nearest wire, but all the trains there need diesel haulage as they cannot get across the two-mile gap. The Felixstowe branch is 13 or so miles long. There is a chord in west London which would connect the electrified Great Western to the electrified North London. There are some ‘no regrets’ schemes that would give us some quick wins.”
Smart explained: “We need to view UK freight as a system and seek to cover whatever modal shift we can towards rail freight within the capacity available now, and look at short wins to increase that capacity so as not to view rail purely in a bubble, decarbonising rail freight, but as a contribution to decarbonising the freight sector.”