Rail fleets must increase by up to 99% by 2045

As many as 19,000 new vehicles will be needed to cope with passenger demand, the Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy for the Rail Industry, published on March 3, says.

It said based on future passenger demand, an increase in the size of the fleet of between 52% and 99% will be required, and that the proportion of vehicles using electric traction will rise from 69% today to 92-95% by 2045.

It added: “Between 13,000 and 19,000 new electric vehicles will be required over the period, with an average of between eight and 12 needing to be delivered every week, compared with four per week in the five years to April 2014,” and: “around 3,350 new electric vehicles will need to be delivered by April 2019, with orders already placed for 90% of this total. A further 428 vehicles for Crossrail, the Intercity Express Programme and Essex Thameside have already been committed for delivery after this date.”

The strategy highlights the many customer benefits of electrification, including increased fleet reliability, improved train punctuality, better acceleration to shorten journey times, greater train capacity and reduced noise, vibration and emissions.

The report supports the principle that rolling stock procurement should, in most cases, be market-based and franchise-led.  By putting train operators and fleet owners at the centre of planning and delivering rolling stock, better value for money can be achieved, as for example is to be the case for the new and additional rolling stock to be procured for the North of England.

The document is produced through collaboration between rolling stock owners and the Rail Delivery Group.

  • For more on this story see RAIL 770, published on March 18.

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