The rail industry has welcomed the government’s support for electrification as a way to reduce “exposure to pollutants.”
David Clarke, Technical Director of the Railway Industry Association (RIA) is looking forward to working alongside the government “to ensure we further reduce air pollutants from rail transport, for the benefit of all who use and work on our railways.”
This came after the publication of the government’s Clean Air Strategy 2019 policy paper, which details in depth how to tackle air pollution.
Air pollution is one of the biggest threats to public health in the UK and the government is serious about reducing this problem.
The Clean Air Strategy will not only do this, but also reduce the costs of air pollution by society by billions of pounds every year.
The Strategy will also cater for the rail industry, with a commitment to phasing out diesel-only trains by 2040.
If this is to be achieved, electrification will play a big part; in the past, the government has been criticised for not committing to this cleaner technology that will benefit the rail industry and its users.
However, there is support for electrification in the Clean Air Strategy 2019 – something that the RIA is particularly pleased about.
David Clarke said: “We are particularly pleased to see the government support electrification, “where it delivers passenger benefits and value for money,” as a key part of reducing exposure to pollutants.
“At the RIA, we have been working with partner organisations from across the industry on our Electrification Cost Challenge, to see how we can deliver cost-effective electrification for intensely used routes.
“Electrification is a vital part of the train-traction mix – alongside emerging technologies, like hydrogen, battery, trimodes and bimodes.
“It will be an essential part of achieving the government’s goal of removing diesel-only trains from the network by 2040, because it is the most efficient and practical non-diesel solution for high speed and high tonnage routes.”