Published on : Friday, February 23, 2018
By 2040, the UK government has declared to set out plans to end ‘the diesel-only- trains’ being used on Britain’s railways, while last year, the government moved to ban the sale of new, non hybrid petrol and diesel cars by 2040.
Jo Johnson, the transport minister, stated that the he will go further and call on the rail industry to draw up plans by the autumn for how to phase out diesel-only trains.He wanted to see the government take all diesel-only trains off the track by 2040 but if that seemed an ambitious goal as it should be, he will not make any apology for that.
Months after the government scrapped several major rail electrification projects that was heralded as means to cut the cost of trains, increase reliability and reduce carbon emission the move came.
The Department for Transport confirmed that the electrification of the Cardiff-to-Swansea section of the Great Western network, the Midland mainline and the short Oxenholme-to-Windermere line in the Lake District will no longer go ahead was mentioned in July last year.
The passengers will be benefiting from the ‘bi-mode’ trains using the overhead electrical wires along with diesel engines.
Mr Johnson’s announcement on diesel-only trains, but said it needed to be supported by a long-term government rail-investment strategy to cut emissions was welcomed by the consumer group.
Stephen Joseph, chief executive of Campaign for Better Transport said that there are huge opportunities for decarbonising rail and an urgency in cutting pollution levels at railway stations. But, without a more consistent approach, the risk is that they see old diesel trains running round the network for the next 25 years.
Johnson will call for the rail industry to use new bi-mode technology and alternative fuels to power trains will help the commuters.
Gary Cooper, director of planning, engineering and operations at the Rail Delivery Group, the train operators’ trade body, said that most customers already travelled on zero-emission electric trains. De-carbonising the railway will require the adoption of new technologies like hydrogen and battery-powered trains, both of which the industry is looking at carefully with the electrification of more lines.