Rail Industry Forecasts Growth of New Generation of Trains

The rail industry’s fourth Long Term Passenger Rolling Stock Strategy, which projects how many trains will be needed to meet future growth, estimates that:



  • The national fleet is forecast to grow by between 51 per cent and 99 per cent over 30 years;
  • Around half of the 4,500 new trains – worth £7.5billion – already under construction or on order are being built in Britain, supporting thousands of jobs and scores of apprenticeships;
  • On average 17 vehicles a week will be built between now and 2020;
  • The average age of our trains is estimated to fall from 21 years to 16 years over the next 5 years;
  • The proportion of electrically-powered vehicles will rise from 70 per cent now to over 90 per cent by 2034;
  • Between 13,000 and 20,000 new electric vehicles will be needed by 2045.

The strategy is produced by the Rolling Stock Strategy Steering Group (RSSSG), which brings together rolling stock companies and the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), representing train operators and Network Rail.

RSSSG joint chairs Malcolm Brown (CEO, Angel Trains) and Andrew Chivers (Managing Director, Rail, National Express) said:
“Passenger numbers have doubled in the last 20 years and are predicted to keep rising, therefore we must expand Britain’s fleet of trains to avoid crowding and to meet the challenges ahead.
Passengers will benefit from billions of pounds already being spent on more modern, more comfortable and more reliable trains. More electric vehicles will improve services with shorter journey times and quieter trains.”

Paul Plummer, RDG chief executive, said:
“Passengers want better services and faster journeys so we are investing in a new generation of trains with more carriages, more seats and better facilities. Rail is ever more important in Britain and it is vital that we plan long-term for the bigger, better railway that the nation and our economy need.”

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