Network Rail which owns, operates and develops Britain’s railway infrastructure has published an Environmental Sustainability Strategy which it describes as its ‘most ambitious and forward-looking’ to date, and a key part of its ambition to position rail as ‘the cleanest, greenest form of mass transport’.
According to the infrastructure manager the strategy is to ‘use electric trains to reduce carbon emissions; make stations, tracks and trains more resilient to extreme weather; plant more trees to offset carbon emissions; and zero waste to landfill’.
The strategy was being finalised as the impact of Covid-19 on the rail sector became more severe. Network Rail believes that ‘though the long-term effects of the pandemic are not yet known, the railway has a huge role to play in supporting the government’s ambitions to build back better.’
Network Rail aims to be ‘the first railway organisation in the world to have science-based targets for reducing carbon’, with plans to be released later this autumn. It will ‘support delivery of the legal 2050 net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target through an affordable and deliverable programme of decarbonisation’, working closely with the supply chain to reduce the rail sector’s overall emissions.
It should be noted that NetWork Rail is not currently a member of the Race to Zero campaign. It remains to be seen how their strategy will evolve.
Find out how to join the Race to Zero here.