GB rail electrification

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Phasing out diesel on rail passenger services in Britain

Decarbonising other transport modes depends on progress in on-board power technologies that do not need fossil fuels. Rail decarbonisation can be achieved by electrifying the track, not the trains. Current on-board technologies should be sufficient to replace most non-main-line diesels in England, and over the next 5-10 years battery technology should advance to outperform diesel in all respects, bringing all lines in Britain within range. At the same time, main lines with higher passenger numbers and performance requirements justify electrification of tracks. Completing this by 2035 should be achievable. Progress in both track electrification and on-board technologies can be reviewed in 10 years time, to assess whether further track electrification is justified, and how to proceed with remaining diesel freight services.

So, the background pages on this site describe the fast-moving technologies and where they're heading, the status with competing transport modes, and the progress in some continental countries. Further pages discuss the current status in Britain, the assumptions and suggested priorities. The map pages illustrate this. Further pages describe the maps and how to use them; how to help with updating both textual and map pages; and a references page gives links to documents mentioned on this site, plus others for further relevant information.

Use the menu above to navigate to these pages.