Can we afford to demonise the diesel?

Among all the contributions to the decarbonisation session at the Railway Industry Association’s 2021 Innovation Conference, two stood out.

One speaker claimed there was a legal obligation for diesel traction to be withdrawn by 2040. This is untrue. What we have is an aspiration from a here-today/gone-tomorrow junior transport minister to withdraw all ‘diesel-only’ trains by an arbitrary date. It is described as an ‘ambition’ in the recent Williams-Shapps White Paper.

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