Rail (UK)

DE­CAR­BON­I­SA­TION IS SPELT E-L-E-C-T-R-I-F-Y

- Business · Transportation · Industries · Network Rail Route 18 · Denmark · United Kingdom · Edinburgh · Glasgow · Railway Industry Association · SYSTRA · Northern Rail

In Fe­bru­ary 2018, the Govern­ment set out plans to elim­i­nate diesel-only pas­sen­ger trains from the net­work by 2040.

As the largest sin­gle source of emis­sions on the rail net­work, a Rail In­dus­try De­car­bon­i­sa­tion Task­force was duly as­sem­bled to con­sider path­ways to achiev­ing this am­bi­tious tar­get.

In 2019, the Task­force con­firmed that it could be done through a “ju­di­cious and bal­anced” mix of cost-ef­fec­tive elec­tri­fi­ca­tion along­side the tar­geted de­ploy­ment of hy­dro­gen and bat­tery tech­nol­ogy.

Sup­ported by the Rail­way In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion’s Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion Cost Chal­lenge, the Task­force said that pro­gres­sive elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of the most in­ten­sively used lines was the low­est whole-life cost and whole-life car­bon so­lu­tion.

In Septem­ber Net­work Rail’s Trac­tion De­car­bon­i­sa­tion Net­work Study (TDNS) re­in­forced this mes­sage by rec­om­mend­ing al­most 12,000 stan­dard track kilo­me­tres (stks) of elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, bat­tery oper­a­tion over 400 stks, and hy­dro­gen oper­a­tion over 900 stks.

The Govern­ment will now con­sider this in­for­ma­tion be­fore pub­lish­ing its

Trans­port De­car­bon­i­sa­tion plan early next year.

RIA’s Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion Cost Chal­lenge re­port pro­vided lessons and in­sight from SYSTRA’s in­volve­ment in a num­ber of elec­tri­fi­ca­tion schemes glob­ally. This in­cludes in Den­mark, where rail net­work owner Banedan­mark has been ad­vised by SYSTRA on the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of more than 1,300km of line since 2013.

SYSTRA fully sup­ports the out­put of the re­port which will im­prove the ef­fi­ciency of de­liv­ery of elec­tri­fi­ca­tion schemes go­ing for­ward.

Michael To­her, SYSTRA’s Head of Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment in Con­ven­tional Rail, says: “We’ve been in­volved in elec­tri­fi­ca­tion for a num­ber of years on schemes in­clud­ing the Great West­ern Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion Pro­gramme (GWEP), so we’ve seen the chal­lenges faced by wiring in the UK, but also the suc­cesses such as the Ed­in­burgh-Glas­gow Im­prove­ment Pro­gramme (EGIP).

“We also work closely with in­dus­try groups in­clud­ing North­ern Rail In­dus­try Lead­ers (NRIL), where we of­fer our opin­ions and thoughts on elec­tri­fi­ca­tion to Net­work Rail and Trans­port for the North, and will now re­spond to the TDNS both through the NRIL fo­rum and as an in­di­vid­ual com­pany.

“De­car­bon­i­sa­tion has been on the agenda for a while. But we are at a piv­otal point be­cause the ben­e­fits of elec­tri­fi­ca­tion are not just about air qual­ity and the en­vi­ron­ment, but also help­ing modal shift - be­cause when you take diesel trains off the net­work you are of­fer­ing a bet­ter trans­port so­lu­tion.

“We share the view that de­car­bon­i­sa­tion is spelt E-L-E-C-T-R-I-F-Y, and we are keen to push the agenda and add our voice to the pri­ori­ti­sa­tion of routes once we get a com­mit­ment from govern­ment around the spend pro­file for schemes.”

He adds: “We be­lieve that we have in­vested heav­ily in this coun­try and abroad on elec­tri­fi­ca­tion ca­pa­bil­ity, and have a team that has been at the lead­ing edge of this as a dis­ci­pline.

“We can show from our port­fo­lio of projects that we can meet RIA’s Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion Cost Chal­lenge. What we need now is com­mit­ment from govern­ment for a rolling pro­gramme of elec­tri­fi­ca­tion.”

 ?? ROBERT ATTERMANN/RED STAR. ?? SYSTRA ad­vised on 1,300km of Dan­ish elec­tri­fi­ca­tion from 2013.
ROBERT ATTERMANN/RED STAR. SYSTRA ad­vised on 1,300km of Dan­ish elec­tri­fi­ca­tion from 2013.

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