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RIA highlights Budget priorities

The Railway Industry Association (RIA) wants the Government to increase funding for research and development of rolling stock and commit to ending stop-start funding. It also calls for assurance that electrification remains an option and the forthcoming Rail Review does not stall investment in the rail network.

In a six-page submission released before the Autumn Budget in October, RIA argues that the volumes of renewals work each year have fluctuated in every Control Period to date and that this poses a “serious threat” to the continuing development of the rail network. It says that a slowdown is already happening that will affect volumes of renewals until at least 2021. This in turn discourages companies from investing in developing skills and new products, reduces staff levels, reduces confidence and could put some smaller or specialist companies out of business.

In addition to providing greater consistency in funding, RIA wants the Government to provide a visible pipeline of enhancements to provide confidence for suppliers and to maintain funding for enhancements in Control Period 6 to at least the same levels as in Control Period 5.

After the Government cancelled electrification schemes in 2017, RIA argues wants to keep electrification on the table while it works with the rail industry to reduce costs. It says that electrification is the best solution for intensively used railways as it is better for the environment, quieter, cuts journey times and because the trains are lighter than self-powered equivalents causes less wear and tear on the track. It also, says RIA, costs less than when compared to the whole-life costs of diesel services.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 06/10/2018 09:48

    Instead of sending newer stocks that were built in the 2000’s & 2010’s such as Class 350/2, Class 379, Class 387/3 & Class 707 and older stocks built in the 1990’s such as Class 332, Class 365 and converted 5-Car Class 458/5 (previously 4-Car Class 458/0) and other Electric multiple unit stocks which are replaced by the brand new rolling stocks that are to be sent for storage as a result of new trains that have replaced them. Could they be sent to other train operators that could need them to operate them on certain lines that needs extra trains to boost more capacity and to provide better rail services in England. Rather than sending them to be stored and possibly sent for scrap. The Class 313 (Class 507 & Class 508 Merseyrail), Class 314 and Class 315 are to be replaced by new trains and are more likely to be sent for scrap as they were built in the mid/late 1970’s & early 1980’s. With Southern to keep their Class 313 units and possibly inherit some from Great Northern. As they are currently been used on the East Coastway Line, West Coastway Line and branches in East Sussex, West Sussex and South Hampshire including Brighton, Eastbourne, Lewis, Hastings, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, Seaford, Portsmouth, Havant, Chichester, Southampton and Hove. Or will Southern replace the Class 313 and to operate the Class 377 Electrostars on those routes and possibly inherit the Class 458 or Class 707 to replace the Class 313 and Class 455 that are due to be replaced in the next few years. Transport for Wales could inherit extra trains to operate them on some lines which are to be electrified and they might inherit the Class 365, Class 379 or Class 350/2 including Cardiff Central-Swansea which is planned to be electrified.

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