RIA North sets out 20-year electrification programme

A rolling electrification programme for the North over the next 20-plus years, with a consistent level of activity to support delivery efficiency, has been set out by the Railway Industry Association North (RIAN). 

It supports the pan-authority public body Transport for the North in developing a decarbonisation map, with the use of targeted electrification. 

In a 41-page report, co-authored by Network Rail Route Freight Manager Simon Kendler, Michael Toher (SYSTRA) and Chris Hayes (Skanska), a long-term vision for which passenger and freight routes should be prioritised for electrification is set out. 

Through progressive analysis using definable metrics, the Greener, Faster, Better report identifies strategic freight lines, inter-city corridors, radial suburban networks and strategic diversionary routes across the North as those that should be top of the list.  

The Midland Main Line and Transpennine Route Upgrade offer the greatest decarbonisation benefits, both of which the Government said in December 2021 it will electrify as part of the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP). 

Decarbonisation Lead at RIAN and report co-author Julie Carrier added: “We hope that our proposals will help inform the debate about how the industry can deliver these, providing the greatest benefits to passengers and the North’s economy.” 

Network Rail’s Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy, a plan for how the railways can be fully decarbonised by 2050 with recommendations on which technology to deploy on each route, was used as a guide. 

It shows that, even on existing electrified routes, there are still high proportions of both passenger and freight services running under diesel propulsion under wires due to other sections of the journey not being electrified.

To read the full story, see RAIL 969 

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