Electrification Briefing Note

August 2018

In July 2017, the Government announced its decision to cancel electrification schemes between Cardiff and Swansea, Kettering and Sheffield, Chippenham through Bath Spa to Bristol Temple Meads and Didcot to Oxford. Instead these routes will use ‘bi-mode’ trains that are able to connect to an electrified railway, but can also use diesel engines on sections of the line which are not electrified.

Less than 50% of the British rail network is electrified, substantially less than the other major European railways, and since 1997 only 60 miles of existing track has been electrified. The programme announced in 2009 and curtailed in July originally included a further 850 miles but this will now be significantly reduced.

Following the July announcement, the Government has set out a challenge for the rail industry to remove all diesel-only trains from the rail network by 2040.

RIA's Electrification Briefing note sets out why electrification remains the optimal form of traction for intensively used railway lines and what the industry is doing to ensure electrification schemes remain 'on the table'.

Download the Electrification Briefing Note

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