Energy firm EdF has signed a ten year deal with Network Rail to provide electricity for the network.
The deal will see EdF powering the network as rail traffic using electric trains is projecting to rise from 55% today to 75% by 2020 if Network Rail is successful in its next spending period request issued earlier this week.
Major electrification schemes due to come online within the next decade including the Great Western Line, Liverpool to Manchester and Preston, and the “electric spine” from Southampton docks to the West Midlands and Yorkshire (see box).
“Rail is already the greenest form of public transport and this partnership with EDF Energy will help us make it greener still,” said Network Rail chief executive David Higgins. “Our work to electrify hundreds of miles of railway represents the biggest programme of rail electrification in a generation and will provide faster, quieter and more reliable journeys for millions of passengers every week while cutting the cost of the railway.”
The deal will see EdF providing 3.2TWh of electricity a year to a network that carries 3M passengers and tens of thousands of tonnes of freight per day.
Currently only 40% of the rail network is electrified, including most of the south east of England, and the main lines from London to Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as the Merseyrail network around Liverpool and the Glasgow suburban network. By 2020, 54% of the network will be electrified with electric trains accounting for 75% of all rail traffic.
Proposed electrification schemes
- Great Western Main Line (Maidenhead to Oxford, Newbury, Bristol and Cardiff) and Thames Valley branches
- Cardiff to Swansea and Welsh Valley lines
- Midland Main Line (Bedford to Corby, Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield)
- North-West Electrification Scheme (Liverpool to Manchester, Manchester to Preston and Blackpool)
- Transpennine Electrification Scheme (Manchester to Leeds and York)
- Electric spine (Southampton to Nuneaton and Bedford via Oxford)