Rail News

UK Rolling Stock to Increase by up to 85% Over the Next 30 Years

Working together, the partnership railway of the public and private sectors has published the sixth annual edition of the Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy detailing its ambitious plans to meet an expected doubling of passenger numbers in the next 30 years.

The strategy forecasts that the national fleet will increase by up to 85% over the next 30 years and details the vehicle types required to meet the predicted boom in passenger numbers.

South Western Railway Fleet
South Western Railway Class 444 © Aubrey Morandarte (license)

New build orders have increased by over 1,100 in the last year bringing the total number of new vehicles ordered to over 7,000, more than half of the current national fleet of 14,000. Many older vehicles are being displaced and the strategy predicts more than 2,000 are likely to be permanently removed from the network.

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Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy

The Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy highlights how the industry continues to innovate with more bi-mode vehicles entering service and that more are expected to be required following Government’s revision to the electrification programme. The industry’s commitment to creating a more sustainable railway is also highlighted with manufacturers developing battery and hydrogen powered trains that may enter service in the next decade.

New vehicle investment from the private sector is now in excess of £13.8bn of which more than 50% will be spent on vehicles built in Britain.

New vehicles are part of the long-term plan of the partnership railway. In the plan, called In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity, rail companies commit to boosting the economy, improving customer satisfaction, better connecting communities and providing more, rewarding careers in rail. The build and delivery of new rolling stock are key to realising these commitments.

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The strategy is produced by the Rolling Stock Strategy Steering Group (RSSSG), which brings together rolling stock owners, train operators, Network Rail and the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).

Malcolm Brown (CEO Angel Trains) co-chair of the industry’s Rolling Stock Strategy Steering Group, said:

Increasing the national fleet through the provision of both new and freshly refurbished trains is vital to meet the demands of increasing numbers of passengers attracted to the rail network. The strategy shows that with government and the private sector working together, the industry can provide the modern, high quality environment on reliable trains that is so vital to delivering passenger expectations.

Paul Plummer, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, which brings together train operators and Network Rail, said:

The partnership railway’s long-term plan is not just to meet passenger demand but to transform train journeys up and down the country. The Rolling Stock Strategy will enable rail companies to work together to deliver on their commitment of at least 6,400 extra services a week, better connecting communities and helping to boost local economies from Aberdeen all the way to Penzance.

Original press release credit: Rail Delivery Group

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