Britain will need as few as 400 to 800 new non-electric rail vehicles between now and 2042, according to a report published today.
An industry-led rolling stock strategy has suggested that the country’s fleet of electric vehicles will need to be doubled in the next 30 years to handle projected demand, improved infrastructure and a larger electrified network.
“This strategy marks the first time that the long-term rolling stock implications of passenger growth and infrastructure upgrades such as electrification and HS2 have been modelled and considered together,” said Paul Plummer, Network Rail group strategy director.
The standout figure suggests that between 13,000 to 19,000 new electric vehicles will need to be built by 2042 – the equivalent of delivering eight to 12 carriages every week for the next 30 years.
Eurostar chairman Richard Brown oversaw the group carrying out the research. Members included the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), the three main train leasing companies – Angel Trains, Eversholt Rail Group and Porterbrook Leasing – and Network Rail.
Michael Roberts, chief executive of ATOC, said: “The boom in passenger journeys heralds a bright future for the railways.
“A long-term rolling stock strategy helps the industry prepare for that future and underpins franchising as the best way to drive efficient delivery of fleet which meets passengers’ needs.”
Malcolm Brown, chief executive officer of Angel Trains, said: “Rightly, the three rolling stock companies have been a corner stone in the development of the strategy to meet passenger demands for the next 30 years.
“The businesses will actively compete with each other to invest in existing and new rolling stock, having already secured over £10 billion of investment since rail privatisation. This will ensure the UK has one of the youngest train fleets in Europe.”