Selling electrification

DAVID SHIRRES, lead author of the Why Rail Electrification? prospectus launched by the Railway Industry Association on 22 April, explains the report’s genesis and its aims

Masts appearing: TransPennine Express unit No 802208 forms the 09.47 Newcastle to Liverpool Lime Street service passing Bolton Percy on 14 April 2021. Electrification masts are being erected as part of the Church Fenton to Colton Junction scheme, a component of the Trans-Pennine Route Upgrade; other than the extension of Midland main line electrification from Kettering to Market Harborough, this is the only wiring scheme currently in delivery in England. Richard Tuplin

In November and December 2020, the House of Commons Transport Committee considered oral evidence for its ‘Trains fit for the future’ inquiry. Comments made by MPs on the committee included ‘Hydrogen isn’t quite there yet but we have some brilliant minds working on hydrogen’ and ‘Government got diesel wrong 20 years ago so how can we be certain electrification is the right technology?’ This generated a headline in the next day’s Daily Telegraph: ‘Rush to electrify “risks new diesel fiasco”’.

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