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Rail electrification vision welcomed, but action needed by 2030 not 2035

Published 28 July 2020 by Transform Scotland

Transform Scotland has welcomed the publication of the Rail Services Decarbonisation Action Plan, but expressed the need for greater urgency, with much of the action on electrification and decarbonisation required by 2030 rather than 2035.

Transform Scotland rail spokesperson Paul Tetlaw said

Class 385 trains by ScotRail Alliance (CC BY-SA 2.0)

“We welcome publication of the Action Plan and the clear commitment that Scotland’s Railway will be decarbonised. While there has been an understandable focus on the Coronavirus crisis in recent months, the threat of climate change remains as real as ever and requires urgent action.

“Electrification of inter-urban, commuter and inter-city routes is widely acknowledged as the most efficient and cost-effective long-term solution if we are to build a transport system fit for the 21st century. The current fleet of inter-city 125 trains, while welcome in the short-term, should be replaced by 2030 and we would expect that the core inter-city routes will have been electrified by then and a new fleet of electric trains procured.”

In September 2019, we published our ‘Vision on Clean Rail’ paper, which concluded that the Scottish railway could be decarbonised by 2030, for around £2.5 billion, with multiple benefits to the nation.