Rail Industry responds to announcement of phasing out of diesel-only trains

Responding to the Government announcement that diesel-only trains will be phased out by 2040, David Clarke, Technical Director of the Railway Industry Association (RIA) said: "We welcome this announcement as it will ensure that the rail industry continues to be one of the most environmentally friendly modes of travel and it sets an ambitious target which will require significant innovation from the industry.

"Currently 29% of the fleet on the UK's rail network is diesel. To replace these we will need to install overhead power lines for electrification or use on-board energy storage from technology such as batteries or hydrogen fuel cells - or a combination of both. This is therefore a big challenge for the industry but one which I think it can and will look forward to meeting."

Notes to Editors

  1. About the Railway Industry Association: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the representative body for UK-based suppliers to the UK and world-wide railways. It has more than 200 companies in membership and the sector employs 240,000 people and contributes annually £11 billion Gross Value Added (GVA). It is also a growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double over the next 25 years and freight set to grow significantly too. 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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