Look at the recent panorama of one of our big northern stations, complete with overhead electric wires. Of six trains in shot, five are diesels. If only more lines in the North were electrified all could be electrics, quieter, more efficient, better for air quality, for the climate and for passengers. Don’t take our word for it; here’s what Network Rail said on its website:
Electrification of the railway allows for faster, greener, more reliable train journeys, improves passenger services and supports economic growth in Britain.
Benefits of electric trains:
- More capacity for passengers; more seats than diesel trains of the same length
- Faster than diesel trains: superior braking and acceleration make journey times shorter.
- Quieter than diesel trains: good news for our lineside neighbours.
- Better for the environment:… carbon emissions 20 to 35% lower than from diesel trains, and there are no emissions at point of use improving air quality in pollution hotspots such as city centres
- Lighter. Less maintenance is needed because electric trains cause less wear on the track so the railway is more reliable for passengers.
- Good for the economy. Faster trains with more seats and better connections with previously hard-to-reach areas improve access to jobs and services, and open up new business opportunities.
Electric trains are better business than diesels because they use simpler technology—cheaper to buy, operate and maintain, offering a self-evidently better passenger experience.