Many trains in the UK are supplied power via overhead line or electrified third rail. This has been the predominant method of helping to reduce the carbon emissions of the railway however the Taskforce has recommended other methods as well. These include the use of Hydrogen trains as well as the use of batteries to allow intermittent electrification.

DECARB: 21st Century DC electrification infill (T1214)

The T1214 project will provide the opportunity to fill the knowledge gap that currently prohibits further third rail development.

DC electrification or third rail remains a cost-effective solution for electrification and decarbonising the railways when these are close or adjacent to existing 750V DC top contact third rail electrified lines. However, its further use is currently constrained by an unclear position on how to manage the system’s risks through scheme design. 

This project aims to enable a better understanding of whether a new third rail scheme is the most appropriate solution to remove diesel rolling stock from those “diesel islands”. An economic model has been developed which will enable the industry to make decisions based on implementation costs, safety risks and whole-life carbon emissions based on different traction options.

This project is currently in progress.