Parliamentarians come together to support a rolling programme of cost-effective electrification
27 March 2019
A cross-party group of Parliamentarians met with representatives of the rail industry yesterday [Wednesday 27 March] to discuss how the Government can implement a rolling programme of cost-effective rail electrification, following the publication of the Railway Industry Association’s (RIA) Electrification Cost Challenge report.
The roundtable in Parliament saw around 40 industry members meet with:
- Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald MP (Labour | Middlesbrough);
- Transport Select Committee Chair Lilian Greenwood MP (Labour | Nottingham South);
- Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson Baroness Randerson;
- Shadow Minister for Energy & Climate Change Dr Alan Whitehead MP (Labour | Southampton, Test);
- Shadow Scotland Minister Paul Sweeney MP (Labour | Glasgow North East);
- Ian Lucas MP (Labour | Wrexham);
- Tim Farron MP (Liberal Democrat | Westmorland and Lonsdale);
- Matt Western MP (Labour | Warwick and Leamington); and
- Officials from the DfT, RSSB and RDG.
David Clarke, Technical Director of the Railway Industry Association, said: “RIA’s Electrification Cost Challenge shows that rail electrification schemes could be delivered for between 33%-50% of the costs of some recent projects using examples from around the UK and internationally, if the industry had a 10 year rolling programme that allowed it to build up capabilities and expertise.
“It was great to see Parliamentarians from different parties supporting this message. The Government have committed, in response to the Transport Select Committee inquiry on rail infrastructure investment, to working with RIA and Network Rail to develop a report by September this year on electrification, and we look forward to working with them, as well as politicians from across the political spectrum, on this issue.”
Notes to Editors
- The RIA Electrification Cost Challenge Report can be found here.
- About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. We promote and represent our members’ interests to policy makers, clients and other stakeholders in the UK and overseas. RIA has 250+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double over the next 25 years and freight set to grow significantly too. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry.