Alan Williams - August 2021

September marks the first anniversary of the publication of Network Rail’s Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy (TDNS), a thorough piece of work which has been widely acclaimed and which by any standards provided sufficient justification to restart a programme of electrification while the current teams are still around. And superficially Government seemed to have accepted this, with the statement in the recently published ‘Plan for Rail’ that ‘electrification is likely to be the main way of decarbonising the majority of the network’.

So why aren’t they getting on with it? The Plan claims ‘further electrification is under way’. In Scotland and Wales, yes, but not so much in England. Even now, only part of the long-awaited and previously cancelled Trans- Pennine electrification is being wired, plus just a further nine miles along the Midland main line from the new Corby electrification at Kettering to Market Harborough. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, and certainly not likely to convince many attending the World Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November that Britain really is in the van of rail decarbonisation.

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