Electrification how to decarbonise rail

London Overground bridge on the electrified Gospel Oak-Barking line ©Donnacha DeLong

TSSA is redoubling calls for electrification of Britain's railways as the solution to decarbonising rail to mark Earth Day, calling it "a no-brainer" .

TSSA backs the call made by industry bodies in a letter to Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, today, having made the same call repeatedly over recent years. Failure to commit to a programme of electrification has resulted in a stop-start approach to work, loss of skilled labour from the industry, and ultimately much higher project costs. A solid commitment and rolling programme would be cheaper, more effective and the quickest way to cut carbon emissions from rail. Whilst battery and hydrogen may play a role at the periphery, TSSA believes the main solution is electrification.

Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary, said: 

"Electrification is the answer to decarbonising the railway. If the government is serious about its carbon reduction targets, then we need a rolling programme of electrification across our railways coupled with commitment to high-speed rail and Eurostar.

"Rail industry bodies have rightly called on Grant Shapps to back electrification of our railways. Such a move would cut carbon emissions, create skilled jobs, and give a welcome economic boost alongside an enhanced clean public transport network.

"Britain invented the railways, and we can again lead the way on sustainable rail infrastructure which improves connectivity for our communities. Electrification is a no-brainer which this government must commit to in full ahead of COP26."