New trains for 2045

It takes about three years to buy a train and a rolling stock leasing company is expected to spread the cost of a new train over 35 years. Therefore a train bought today would be expected to be useful up to 2045. In the 1990s new train specifications were all about performance, but priorities change and it is important that single issues should not dominate a design. Today the priority is capacity. It is suggested that trains are too short. Longer trains would free up track space, increase efficiency, decrease pollution and offer more comfort. The biggest competitor to the railway is the private car. The importance of passenger comfort is emphasised and the measures taken by the competition (cars, planes, buses) for passenger comfort are outlined. The need for a rolling programme of electrification is discussed in relation to cost and environmental benefits. Reliability is identified as the key to successful railway operation, with National Fleet Reliability Improvement Programme figures consistently showing electric trains to be about three times more reliable than diesel. The author gives his outline specification for the 2045 train: more vehicles; carefully specified comfort, electric/hybrid power; ultra-reliable; environmentally friendly; minimal maintenance; solid state, truly interoperable control; technology to solve problems; and a single design concept.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 32-6
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01061104
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Sep 10 2007 2:23PM