Rail industry responds to Net Zero Strategy

19 October 2021

The Railway Industry Association (RIA), the voice of the UK rail supply community, has responded to the Government’s Net Zero Strategy, published today.

The Strategy says: “The rail network will be net zero emissions by 2050 through a sustained, long-term programme of investment in rail electrification, supported by deployment of battery and hydrogen-powered trains.”

David Clarke, Technical Director at the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “Today’s Net Zero Strategy is the second document, alongside the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, confirming the Government’s commitment to further electrification and hydrogen and battery trains.

“Yet, although we welcome these positive plans, action is needed now if we are to reach Net Zero on our railways by 2050. As ORR statistics recently showed, we are electrifying at less than half the rate required to meet the 2050 target, and the UK is still yet to see any significant new electrification projects or major fleet orders of low carbon battery and hydrogen rolling stock. This lack of commitment puts at risk our existing electrification and rolling stock capability, which we know we will need to meet the 2050 target.

“As we approach COP26, now is an opportune moment for the UK to show international leadership and support green jobs and investment by committing to decarbonise rail.”

Notes to Editors


  1. The Net Zero Strategy can be found here

  2. RIA's Rail Decarbonisation 21 campaign is calling for a specific commitment to decarbonise the rail network from Government, through further electrification work and fleet orders of low carbon, self-powered rolling stock, ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) taking place in Glasgow in November 2021. Find out more at www.riagb.org.uk/raildecarb21

  3. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has 300+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £43 billion in economic growth and £14 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 710,000 people. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK; for every £1 spent in rail, £2.50 is generated in the wider economy. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). www.riagb.org.uk

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