E4tech assists UK rail industry to signal its approach to decarbonisation

The Rail Industry Decarbonisation Task Force, assisted by the Rail Safety and Standards Board , released its final report  to the Rail Minister on 20 July setting out its proposed approach to decarbonising the UK's railways. The report, commissioned in 2018 by the then Minister Jo Johnson, sets out how the rail industry can contribute in a cost-effective way to meeting carbon reduction goals in the UK through a mix of low carbon technologies. Rail is already a relatively low carbon form of transport, delivering 10% of all miles travelled in the UK while contributing only 2.5% of all transport carbon emissions, and has already played a role in reducing emissions through the shift of intermodal traffic from road to rail.

E4tech, working in a consortium led by CORDA  and including the Universities of Birmingham and Huddersfield , developed a series of roadmaps for decarbonising the rail industry though the application of different traction options. The roadmaps identified when different technologies would likely become available and what impact factors such as developments in other transport sectors and the franchising cycle might have on decarbonisation efforts. E4tech’s data on the hydrogen fuel cell sector was invaluable to the development of the economic modelling tool which was another important output from the study. The analysis suggests that a combination of electrification and the judicious use of technologies such as fuel cells and batteries can achieve the stated goal of removing all diesel-only trains from the network by 2040 and meeting legislated carbon emissions reduction targets.

For more information about E4tech's work in hydrogen and fuel cells, please click here .

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