DfT: bi-mode could encourage line reopenings

The use of lightweight, refreshed and re-purposed vehicles could strengthen the case for reopening disused lines, according to the Department for Transport.

In its Rolling Stock Perspective Fourth Edition, published on October 25, the DfT highlights the hydrogen-powered Class 321s from Alstom, Vivarail’s hybrid Class 230s, and Angel Trains’ Class 165 HyDrive trains (RAIL 862).

“These vehicles…offered to the market at competitive rates, could strengthen the case for the reopening of disused lines,” it says.

“As the demand for housing and business premises that are well-connected to the main line increases, the reopening of these old alignments would invigorate local services.”

The DfT has also called for measures to be put in place to reduce pollution at source, suggesting auto engine stop-start software, electric launch systems and station shore supplies could all be used during long dwell periods.

DfT adds: “We expect train owners and manufacturers to further develop proposals to convert their existing or future diesel trains to bi-mode or use an alternative energy source to diesel.”

The taskforce created to investigate the decarbonisation of the railways by 2040 (RAIL 847) will follow up its initial findings next year, with a final report incorporating an economic appraisal and route map to deliver its recommendations.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 865, published on November 7, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from November 3. 


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  • AndrewJG8918 - 01/11/2018 00:17

    As the Class 769 Bi-mode are scheduled to start passenger service on Northern, GWR and KeliosAmey Wales next year. Plus with Class 321 which are to become Hydrogen trains in few years. Could Class 317s possibly be converted into Bi-Mode or Hydrogen units and to operate them in England, Wales and Scotland or will the Class 317 end up getting scrapped as they are to be replaced by the Class 720 Greater Anglia and Class 710 London Overground Bombardier Aventra units.

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    • AndrewJG8918 - 02/11/2018 20:42

      Also Class 318 that are still with ScotRail might also be replaced as the Class 385s will replace them and the Class 318s might aswell be sent for storage or perhaps sent for scrap.

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  • Richard Crompton - 01/11/2018 11:36

    What pearls of wisdom emanate from the DfT. If this is typical of DfT output we are getting very poor value for money from them.

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  • Stuart1959 - 04/12/2018 10:23

    The main blocking point for the reopening of disused lines is the cost of refurbishing the infrastructure for passenger services, and the time it takes to do it.

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