Decarbonisation progress is good says RIA Scotland

Electrification works on the Midland Main Line (NR)Image Network Rail

RIA Scotland, the national branch of the rail supply industry representative body, has welcomed progress on Scotland’s rail decarbonisation plan. The message follows on from the approval from the Scottish Government to start construction on electrification of the route between Haymarket and Dalmeny, and comes as Network Rail is set to begin piling work on the project.

However else relations may be going, between the Scottish government and the rail industry, their committed programme of decarbonisation and electrification has been widely welcomed. The government in Edinburgh has committed to an ambitious programme which will see much of the network electrified and diesel operations replaced by alternative fuels in more remote areas.

Greater passenger and freight penetration

“We are pleased to see the green light to start construction on electrifying the Fife route”, said Meirion Thomas, the recently appointed new Chair of RIA Scotland. “This is an important step forward in delivering the Decarbonisation Strategy and Scotland’s ambitions to reach net zero, and will create skilled jobs and support economic growth.”

RIA Scotland recently appointed Chair Meirion Thomas (left) and Vice Chair Campbell Braid (right)

As reported recently, the work to electrify the ‘Fife Circle’ will support greater passenger and freight penetration north of Edinburgh. “It is really encouraging to see this investment coming forward and underlines the confidence in rail and the role it has in driving forward the Scottish Government’s agenda”, added Thomas.

Railway decarbonisation accelerated even further

The rolling programme of electrification, in support of the Scottish government’s overarching decarbonisation aims, has been widely welcomed. Not least, it has given the supply chain some degree of continuity, and encouraged operators to look afresh at potential rail freight flows in Scotland, particularly cross-border services, which the industry says could provide the greatest growth in the market.

“RIA Scotland and our supply chain members are committed to supporting Scotland’s Railway’s decarbonisation journey, and delivering both innovative and cost-effective solutions that benefit passengers, freight and taxpayers”, said Thomas. “We hope to see railway decarbonisation accelerated even further in the months and years to come to ensure we meet our target of net zero passenger services by 2035.”

RIA Scotland, recently announced Meirion Thomas of Arcadis as their new Chair, and Vice Chair, Campbell Braid of Siemens, to set the strategic direction of the group.

Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

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