Thursday, 23 July 2009

London-Bristol rail line to be electrified

News out today is that the London-Swansea (i.e. including Bristol) mainline is to be electrified. This is something that Stephen Williams MP and the Lib Dems in general have been pushing for for some time.

This is great news. Electrified lines mean better reliability, (possibly) reduced travel times, lower running costs (and so hopfully lower fares) and lower overall carbon emissions. Let's hope that this is just the first of many and that the UK gets a proper highspeed rail network sooner rather than later. Decades of under-investment under both Labour and Conservative governments have left Britain rail infrastructure miles behind other countries in Europe.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lower overall carbon emissions sounds a bit counter-intuitive.

Where doe sthat come from?

Neil Harrison said...

Well, the science isn't mine, so can't vouch for it. This article in the Indy says 20 to 35% reduction :

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/end-of-line-for-diesel-trains-1757478.html

A quick Google and some dispute this, but the basic theory is that trains don't carry own fuel and have lighter engines, so less power is needed to move them.