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Tue, 4 August 2020

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RIA: Invest in rail to achieve decarbonisation goals

Railway Industry Association

2 min read Member content

The Railway Industry Association (RIA), the trade body for UK rail suppliers, has urged the Government to invest in rail transport in its submission to the Department for Transport’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

The response calls on the Government to:

  • Restore confidence:  Enable public transport to be the cleanest and greenest form of transport – working with rail suppliers to develop appropriate responses to the Coronavirus risks;
  • Invest for zero carbon: Support rail investment projects by bringing forward and accelerating work - seizing opportunities for zero carbon infrastructure and building sites;
  • Procure zero carbon: Include embedded carbon considerations in procurement decisions;
  • Plan for zero carbon: Start a rolling programme of electrification now;
  • Fund zero carbon innovation: Support early introduction of hydrogen and battery powered train fleets;
  • Procure complementary technology: Support additional digital signalling cab and infrastructure fitment projects;
  • Promote UK’s zero carbon rail expertise: Look for opportunities to support UK rail companies to export zero carbon ideas and initiatives.

David Clarke, Technical Director at the Railway Industry Association, said: “The Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan is a great opportunity to set out the vision for the future of our transport network. Rail is already an environmentally friendly mode of transport – it contributes just 1.4% of the UK's domestic transport emissions – but we can not be complacent about the need to decarbonise our train fleets and infrastructure.

“Crucially, decarbonisation of the rail network requires support from Government, in the form of a rolling programme of electrification, investment in the network to encourage modal shift and fleet orders of low carbon rolling stock, or the conversion of current train fleets to use clean energy sources. The Government’s vision of a decarbonised rail network is very much achievable, but it requires action now to make it happen.”

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