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Electrification

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Lowest cost and zero carbon

Reducing the cost of operating rail services and meeting the government's zero carbon objectives for transport require a sustainable rolling programme of electrification for Britain’s railways using a mix of technologies including overhead wiring, third rail, battery and hydrogen.

Although rail travel is reduced in the short term, modal shift to rail is essential to protect the environment and address social issues whilst growing our economy. The capacity of the rail network must be doubled to achieve this.

Project Speed

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Sun 27 of Sep, 2020 17:57 BST - (913 Reads)
Network
Network Rail has revealed the thirteen programmes, with an emphasis on electrification, which it aims to progress urgently as part of the Project Speed initiative announced by the Prime Minister on 30 June 2020. Midland Main Line Upgrade. Image by Network Rail.

Electrification mix

Author: Ian Brown and Chris Page - Published At: Tue 28 of Jul, 2020 13:28 BST - (3840 Reads)
Network
Reducing the cost of operating rail services and meeting the government's zero carbon objectives for transport require a sustainable electrification programme for Britain’s railways using a mix of technologies including overhead wiring, third rail, battery and hydrogen. Tyne and Wear Metro battery electric locomotive running under the wires at Whitley Bay.

Electric alternatives

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Sun 07 of Apr, 2019 18:40 BST - (7357 Reads)
Campaigns
The government cut electrification projects in favour of alternative technologies for rail traction but in response to the Transport Select Committee, the Rail Industry Association has published the Electrification Cost Challenge report showing that electrification costs could be cut by more than 50%. This briefing explains how the alternatives stack up. Proposed hydrogen-powered "Breeze" conversion of class 321. Image by Alstom.

Blueprint for the North

Author: Ian Brown CBE FCILT - Published At: Fri 11 of Jan, 2019 13:22 GMT - (5689 Reads)
Campaigns

The initial strategic challenge

Railfuture Policy Director Ian Brown contends that rail cannot make any meaningful contribution to growing the North’s economy, or even realise the benefits of new rolling stock and services about to be delivered, without investment in core routes and core stations to enable a further doubling of journeys over the next 15 years. Crowds on the only two through platforms at Manchester Piccadilly demonstrate the need for investment in extra capacity linking Chester, Liverpool, Preston, Manchester, Sheffield, Bradford, Leeds and Hull – photo by Maria Whelan, from Twitter.

UN Climate Change report

Author: Ian Brown - Published At: Wed 10 of Oct, 2018 21:12 BST - (3352 Reads)
Lobbying
Briefing by Ian Brown CBE FCILT, Railfuture Policy Director, on the effects of climate change and the need for investment in rail to provide sustainable transport which will help to reduce climate change. Image by iStock.

Riding sunbeams

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Mon 12 of Mar, 2018 16:57 GMT - (3893 Reads)
Network
10:10, the climate change charity, is working with the Energy Futures Lab at Imperial College, London, to develop a viable solution for solar-powered railways. The graphic by 10:10 Climate Action illustrates the principle. It is ironic that the artist has depicted a diesel unit but we like the picture so used it anyway.

Why wiring went wrong

Author: Jerry Alderson (Source: Phil Smart) - Published At: Sat 09 of Sep, 2017 20:40 BST - (5400 Reads)
Network
Railfuture has long campaigned for much of Britain’s railway to be electrified, not as an end in itself but because of the benefits it can bring to passengers (and also freight users). Electrification fell out of favour in the early 1990s but came back around 2009 partly thanks to the lobbying of Railfuture’s distinguished Vice President Adrian Shooter. However, Network Rail’s inability to deliver the government’s challenging programme of electrification, not least because vital skills and experience including project management had been lost, is a major set-back. Electrifying the Gospel Oak to Barking line has been a Railfuture aspiration for a long time. Pictured above is a stanchion minus overhead wires at South Tottenham station on the GOBLIN line, where the electrification work overran. Photo by Jerry Alderson.

Why electrify?

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Thu 31 of Aug, 2017 18:58 BST - (5813 Reads)
Network
On 20 July 2017, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling shocked rail campaigners and stakeholders by announcing that planned electrification of the Midland Main Line north of Kettering, the Great Western Main Line west of Cardiff, and Oxenholme to Windermere is cancelled. Photo Network Rail.

Fixing Network Rail

Author: Chris Page - Published At: Mon 05 of Dec, 2016 18:27 GMT - (6687 Reads)
Network
Britain needs to invest in its transport infrastructure to promote economic growth, but further electrification delays show that Network Rail does not have the capability to deliver its expansion programme in the timescale needed. Railfuture analyses the cause of the problems at Network Rail and suggests a way forward.

Electrification programme

The current status of electrification progress.

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