An updated report published by the rail industry reiterates the importance of a market-led approach to delivering value for money rolling stock. Such an approach is the best way to meet rising passenger demand over the next 30 years and maximise the potential benefits of the increased capacity that will be provided both on the existing network and on HS2.
The second Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy for the Rail Industry , which has been welcomed by Rail Minister Stephen Hammond, was produced through cross industry collaboration by rolling stock owners, operator owning groups and Network Rail. It underlines previous scenarios for the future size and makeup of the national rolling stock fleet.
The report highlights the benefits of electrification of the rail network and, taking into account the Government’s commitment in principle to continue electrifying the network, forecasts that:
- Based on future passenger demand an increase in the size of the fleet of between 53% and 99% will be required over the next 30 years
- The proportion of vehicles using electric traction will rise from 69% today to over 90% in 30 years time
- Between 13,000 and 19,000 new electric vehicles will be required over the period, with an average of between eight and 12 needing to be delivered every week
- Around 3,050 new electric vehicles will need to be delivered by April 2019, with just 20% or 600 still to be ordered
- The average build rate of 12 vehicles per week that this represents contrasts with an average of just four per week in the five years to April 2014
The report says that early government commitment to a further electrification programme during 2019-2024 could help drive value for money in the sector by increasing confidence among investors and the supply chain.
According to the report, putting train operators and the rolling stock owners, rather than DfT, at the centre of planning and delivering rolling stock through a market-based approach is the best way to deliver better value for money from the passenger fleet.
Richard Brown, chairman of the Rolling Stock Strategy Steering Group, said:
“The growth in demand for rail travel is set to continue and meeting it with the most suitable and cost efficient rolling stock is vital to maximising the railway’s benefits to our economy, local communities and the environment. The updated rolling stock strategy sets out future potential demand but also poses important challenges for the industry.
Working with government and Network Rail, train operators and leasing companies are in the best position to ensure that a whole-life, whole-system approach is adopted to rolling stock. With billions of pounds set to be invested in the rail industry over the coming years, this will ensure that value for money and benefits for passengers are maximised.”
Notes to editors:
The Rolling Stock Strategy Steering Group is made up of representatives of the train operating companies and owning groups, the rolling stock owners (Angel Trains, Eversholt Rail Group and Porterbrook Leasing), Network Rail, ATOC’s engineering council and the Rail Delivery Group executive team.