Diesel is dying – let steam trains ride to the rescue | Simon Jenkins
The current rail minister wants to phase out diesel, and his predecessor hobbled electricity. There’s only one viable option
New ministers always go a little mad in the early days of the job. The new railways boss, Jo Johnson, will make a speech proposing to “phase out” all British diesel engines by 2040. He calls it an “aspiration”.
But diesel accounts for a third of all Britain’s trains. The only alternative form of traction is electricity, and Johnson’s ministerial predecessor postponed or abandoned Network Rail’s electrification plan – including the Welsh and Midlands mainlines. British railway traction is in the dark ages. What does Johnson have in mind, horses?
Leisure and so-called heritage railways have continued to expand, and their appeal is simple. They run steam trains
Source: Guardian Transport