Why electrify? – Rail Engineer

Many within the rail industry feel that the recent electrification cutbacks were a mistake as, to quote the RDG’s long term passenger rolling stock strategy (LTPRSS), “over time, electric trains have generally proved to be more reliable, efficient, environmentally friendly and cheaper than those powered by diesel engines”.

Yet, even when carried out in a cost-effective manner, the price tag for route electrification is measured in billions of pounds. Government has a responsibility to ensure that such large sums are spent wisely and so was right to re-consider the case for committed schemes as the costs of electrification projects more than doubled.

The resultant cancellation of previously confirmed electrification schemes was partly due to the ability of new bi-mode trains to operate in both electric and diesel modes (issue 157, November 2017). As a result, Government considers that passenger journeys can be improved sooner than expected by these “state of the art trains” that “can improve journeys for passengers instead of carrying out electrification works”. Why electrify? – Rail Engineer


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