RIA report: thousands of jobs at risk without rolling stock orders

26 July 2023
Railway Industry Association's report marks importance of new rolling stock orders to secure future for home-grown railway industry.

A new report from the Railway Industry Association (RIA) has shown that unless action is taken now on rolling stock orders for upgrade or replacement of the oldest trains on our network, thousands of jobs will be at risk across the railway industry.

The report, entitled “The UK Rolling Stock Industry – making 2023 the year of opportunity not crisis”, sets out how there are currently no orders for new or upgraded rolling stock in the UK, with the current orders set to end by 2026.

The report outlines how the UK currently has the facilities to deliver "modern trains with cleaner technologies including electric, battery, hydrogen and bi-mode. But in less than 12 months, major factories start to run out of work and there's a risk that the UK can't upgrade or renew trains if the factories and skilled workers are no longer there."

Content continues after advertisements

The strategic industry employs over 30,000 people, contributing at least £1.8 billion to the economy. The RIA is calling on the Government to make decisions, citing "serious potential consequences, including the loss of thousands of jobs, worsening passenger experience due to ageing trains not being replaced, increased costs in the long-run and limited deployment of new, green technologies."

Its new report is urging orders to replace or upgrade the oldest rolling stock be placed immediately, adding, "such orders would not require upfront public investment, as there is a proven private sector pathway to deliver new/upgraded rolling stock, with costs spread over time."

The RIA report says that costs are "likely to be offset by preserving competition in the market, protecting UK skills and domestic production capability and increasing revenues through better passenger experience."

What are your thoughts on the UK's present rolling stock fleet? Let us know in the comments, below...


No comments