Times 27th June 2015 “Sir, The delays in the electrification programme have ramifications across the entire rail network. Electrification was expected to release diesel trains from newly wired lines for use elsewhere on the network before the 2020 deadline for disabled access. The Northern franchise bids submitted this week (and those recently submitted for the Transpennine franchise) were on this basis and the DfT may now have to return to the bidders and delay these new franchises further.
There is now a clear need for the rapid procurement of new diesel trains, which may have to be manufactured outside Europe, to replace some of the oldest diesel rolling stock and to release trains that are “only” 30 years old to be refurbished and reconfigured for disabled access. Train operators are so short of diesel units that they can spare only one at a time for this work, meaning that the 2020 deadline will be missed at current rates.”
Dr John Disney, Nottingham Business School
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