Railway industry: Government recognition and support for cost-effective electrification welcomed
The Railway Industry Association (RIA) has welcomed a letter from the Transport Secretary to Parliament’s Transport Select Committee published today, which claims that Government “will ensure that lessons are learnt from previous electrification schemes and those currently underway” to ensure value for money for taxpayers.
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “We welcome the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps’ confirmation that the Government will work to learn the positive lessons from past rail electrification schemes and explore the potential to speed up the development of some electrification schemes as its rail infrastructure strategy progresses. And we are also pleased to see a renewed commitment to the cross-sector Rail Industry Decarbonisation Report – it is clear that electrification of intensively-used lines is the best way to decarbonise the rail network.
“The industry and Government are in agreement on the cost of electrification. As RIA’s recent Electrification Cost Challenge report shows, we can reduce costs by up to 50% based on past projects. However, the key way to do so is to provide a consistent, rolling programme of electrification work, that allows rail businesses to build up capabilities and retain skilled labour.
“So commensurate with this, we urge the Government to deliver a rolling programme of investment for electrification, to both prevent a hiatus as current electrification schemes in the UK come to an end, and to ensure value for money for the taxpayer, given a rolling programme of electrification is more economically efficient and cost-effective than boom and bust in electrification investment.”