RSSB introduces new standards to save rail industry millions from costs of electrification

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The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) in the UK has introduced new standards for the rail sector which it claims will deliver benefits of £27 million to the industry over the next five years.

The introduction of Standard RIS-2715-RST Issue 1 (Rolling Stock Subsystem and Interface to AC Energy Subsystem), together with updates to GMRT2111 Issue 3 (Rolling Stock Subsystem and Interface to AC Energy Subsystem) provide rationale and guidance for achieving compatibility at the interface between rolling stock and the AC energy subsystem.

The new standards set clearer requirements and guidance to achieve route technical compatibility between rolling stock and AC energy subsystems. The £27 million reduction in costs is based on 100 single track kilometers (STKs) per year for the next five years, which will deliver lower electrification costs or more STKs for the same cost.

“Our new and revised standards for AC electrification systems and rolling stock will help the rail industry save millions of pounds when rolling out new electrification schemes,” said Tom Lee, director of standards at RSSB. “They also provide confidence that trains and the electrification infrastructure are compatible with each other. This is a great example of how standards help the industry reduce complexity and avoid unnecessary cost whilst maintaining safety and delivering good operational performance.”

The reduction in costs achieved by the changes to standards will support the delivery of decarbonization objectives including the UK Government’s legal commitment to achieve ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. RSSB’s update to standards has provided a solution which significantly reduces costs while still delivering a safe, reliable energy system.

“Network Rail welcomes the publication of the revised Railway Group Standard and new Rail Industry Standard for AC electrification,” said Phil Doughty, chief M&E engineer, Network Rail. “Having been an active contributor to this work (along with Network Rail colleagues and industry partners), I’m confident that these standards will play an important part in supporting Network Rail’s ongoing efforts to drive down the cost of AC electrification. Enhancing our electrified network will enable even more freight and passenger users to benefit from the inherent environmental advantages which electrification brings.”