Rail industry welcomes Transport Decarbonisation Plan

14  July 2021

The Government has published its Transport Decarbonisation Plan today.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “It is really positive to see the Transport Decarbonisation Plan commit to a ‘cost-effective’ and ‘sustained’ programme of electrification, and to support the deployment of battery and hydrogen trains. It is also heartening to see the Government recognise the role that rail freight can play in cutting emissions, extending to freight the commitment to remove all diesel-only trains from the network by 2040. The Railway Industry Association and our members welcome the Government’s ambition on this.

“As Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said, the pace of change will be ‘unparalleled’, which we agree it will need to be. There is clearly plenty of work to do. With only 38% of the UK’s railway network currently electrified, compared to a target of electrifying the majority of the network as set out in the Transport Decarbonisation and Williams-Shapps plans, we cannot afford to delay work any longer. Every tonne of carbon which we start to save now will be almost 30 tonnes saved by 2050, supporting thousands of green jobs for the future. Rail suppliers await the details of which schemes will be given the green light and look forward to supporting a rolling programme of electrification.

“As our Rail Decarbonisation 21 campaign calls for, further electrification and fleet orders of battery and hydrogen trains is the best way to decarbonise the railway at good value for the taxpayer - supporting the Government’s ‘build back better’ agenda and helping the UK show genuine global leadership ahead of COP26 in November.”

Notes to Editors


  1. The Transport Decarbonisation Plan can be found here
  2. Find out more about RIA’s RailDecarb21 campaign 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 some 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. www.riagb.org.uk

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