Soaring energy prices make rail freight operators switch to diesel locomotives

Trade association for the sector said that is a ‘temporary measure’

Big Zero Report 2022

Skyrocketing energy prices now derail freight operators from their sustainable practices.

The Rail Freight Group, the trade association representing operators in the UK’s rail freight sector said that some of its members are switching to diesel locomotives leaving their electric freight trains because of the soaring energy costs.

The body said: “The current significant increase in the wholesale cost of electricity for haulage means that some operators have had to take the regrettable decision to temporarily move back to diesel locomotives.

“A 200% increase in electricity costs for each train cannot be absorbed by the operators or customers, and so necessary action is being taken to ensure that trains can continue to operate delivering vital goods across the country.”

The association added that it has been reassured by its members that that measure is temporary and will be kept under constant review.

A Network Rail spokesman told ELN said: “Electricity costs for Network Rail and passenger operators were negotiated some time ago and are fixed for this year and most of next.

“A few operators, however, are subject to the current market wholesale price of electricity that Network Rail passes on directly at cost.

“Despite this, rail remains the most carbon efficient means of moving large quantities of both freight and people around the country.”

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