Network Rail is to look at three alternative rail solutions as part of its continued efforts to deliver a better value-for-money railway.
Tram and train, community rail initiatives and more innovative ways of replacing diesel traction with electrically-powered trains will all be studied in more detail as part of the company’s alternative solutions route utilisation strategy (RUS).
To further develop the strategy an invitation is being made to all of Network Rail’s partners, customers and other interested industry parties to submit their ideas.
This approach differs from previous RUSs and the submissions will help shape a second draft which will go out to formal consultation in the summer.
The three alternatives being looked at by Network Rail to see if different ways of working can help the industry become more effective and better value for money are:
Can the application of tram or tram train technologies (such as the tram train concept) deliver savings in capital, operating and maintenance costs, whilst simultaneously delivering improvements for passengers?
Are there cheaper and more innovative ways of replacing diesel traction with electrically-powered trains?
To what extent can the further development of community rail initiatives provide locally applicable opportunities for adding value to railway operations?
Paul Plummer, Network Rail’s group strategy director, said: “The railway industry faces a constant challenge to deliver value-for-money. It is only by rising to that challenge that the industry can continue to play a significant role in transporting people and goods in an efficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly way.
“This draft RUS is an opportunity to further explore three key areas which could help us achieve these objectives. All responses received will be considered and will help influence a second draft which will be published for consultation later in the year.”
The consultation will last for 60 days starting on Tuesday 28 February and closing on 30 April 2012. Network Rail will write to a wide range of partners and interested parties informing them of the consultation asking them to submit their ideas to [email protected]