Join the discussion on electrification in Glasgow on 21 April!

The Scottish Government has recognised the benefits of a rolling programme of electrification and Network Rail Scotland is developing those plans. Electrifying an existing railway requires the electrification system to be integrated into the broader railway system: the configuration of the traction system and its constituent parts has implications for the operation, maintenance, and performance of the railway. In Scotland and throughout the UK, funders recognise the operational and ecological benefits of electrification but CP5 performance severely damaged the case for further electrification work. Benchmarking with Europe highlights the extremely high cost of work in the UK.

The challenge facing the whole industry is to simplify the contractual model, reduce implementation managerial complexity and focus system design and construction on affordability.

PWI Deputy President Peter Dearman said: “Against the background of the climate emergency and the UK 2050 net-zero commitment, the railway has a vital role and big opportunity to be part of the solution. Transport is a major contributor to the atmospheric carbon problem. A modal shift from roads and domestic flights to trains will help towards delivering a net-zero economy, but the benefits of that shift can only be maximised if railway traction is de-carbonised. A large programme of electrification is proposed, but the business case for electrification must be satisfied.”

The PWI Electrification seminar will help engineers and project managers understand the implications of converting a route to electric traction, and explore ways in which system specification, design, and implementation can support a rolling plan.

‘Electrification: Delivering the business case’ takes place in Glasgow on Thursday 21 April. Tickets can be purchased online via