Government programs are set to legislate net-zero emissions by the year 2050. This lofty goal has a series of consequences directly linked to the transportation sector. As one of the largest industries for greenhouse gas production, emissions within this sector have actually risen between the years 2013 and 2017. Emissions in this sector have now risen higher than they were back in the year 1990. Meeting a net-zero target would require extensive changes within the industry and will also involve retrofitting and swapping out a series of diesel and petrol vehicles for electric-only trains.

Growth and rail systems across the UK have supported a reduction in carbon emissions but the number of trains that are still continuing to use petrol and diesel fuel is continuing to undermine efforts in achieving a net-zero target. The government will not be able to meet its climate change commitments with the number of current vehicles in the UK’s transportation system. Improving air quality and working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will mean creating drastic changes and restarting the electrification program within the locomotive industry in the UK.

Establishing rolling programs of electrification throughout the UK could ensure that the country will meet its net-zero targets. This reality will require an ongoing commitment however and true action from the part of manufacturers, government officials as well as transportation companies.

As the government had a recent cancellation of electrification projects in 2017 in which they scrapped plans to electrify the Midland mainline, the Great Western mainline as well as the line of the lakes, this dealt a serious blow into the process of creating a zero-emissions solution throughout the UK. These types of programs may have to be resurrected in order to see a difference made any efforts towards reaching a zero-emission status.

This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Swartz Engineering. For nearly a half a century, Swartz Engineering has been at the forefront of industry safety. They are a family-owned company specializing in power distribution for the electrical industry. They are the leading manufacturer of DC 82 relay. DC 82 relay is designed to be used on light and heavy rail systems.