House of Lords Committee calls for “accelerated” rail electrification and “battery and fuel cell trains”

27 July 2021

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has published its report following an inquiry on batteries and fuel cells. It has said “the Government must ensure that the railway electrification programme is accelerated” and said that “the development of battery and fuel cell trains should be supported to serve those parts of the network that remain non-electrified.”

David Clarke, Technical Director at the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “It is good to see the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee backing the asks of RIA’s Rail Decarbonisation 21 campaign, which is calling for Government to commit to a rolling programme of electrification and fleet orders of battery and hydrogen rolling stock – in line with the Transport Decarbonisation Plan – before COP26 in November. This is now the third parliamentary committee to back the recommendations of RIA’s campaign, showing a head of steam amongst policy makers to deliver a clean, environmentally friendly, low carbon rail network. We look forward to working with Peers from across the political spectrum, and the Government, to support the Committee’s findings.”

Notes to Editors


  1. The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report can be found here and the press release can be found here.
  2. RailDecarb21 Campaign: RIA’s RailDecarb21 campaign is calling for a specific commitment to decarbonise the rail network from Government, through further electrification work and fleet orders of low carbon, self-powered rolling stock, ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) taking place in Glasgow in November 2021. Find out more here.
  3. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has 300+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry.

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