This snapshot, taken on
, shows web content acquired for preservation by The National Archives. External links, forms and search may not work in archived websites and contact details are likely to be out of date.
The UK Government Web Archive does not use cookies but some may be left in your browser from archived websites.

Rolling stock plan

Back to contents


1. The White Paper “Delivering a Sustainable Railway”, published in July 2007, stated that the Government would publish a rolling stock plan by January 2008, setting out in more detail how rolling stock would be used to deliver increased capacity. This document is that plan.

2. The Rail Technical Strategy (RTS), published at the same time, set out the Government’s long term aspirations for rail vehicles.

3. The main focus of this plan is on the steps that will need to be taken to enable the English Train Operating Companies (TOCs) and Network Rail to deliver the additional capacity in the HLOS period 2009 to 2014 (otherwise known as Control Period 4 or CP4). However, this rolling stock plan will also set out the steps that the Government is taking to achieve the longer term aspirations set out in the RTS.

4. In terms of HLOS, in some cases the additional capacity will be secured through the procurement of new rolling stock; otherwise, it will be secured through re-deploying existing rolling stock which is displaced by new. (In the rail industry, this process is known as “cascade”.)

5. Possible procurement routes for new additional rolling stock are explored in this plan.

6. However, this rolling stock plan does not set out detailed lists of rolling stock fleets or exact dates for their introduction on specific routes. It will be some time before this detail is finalised, having been developed through close working with the industry. However, the plan is intended to set out a base strategy within which the railway industry can develop its plans constructively and effectively.

Delivering the Rail Technical Strategy

7. The Government has already taken the first steps in delivering the next generation of rolling stock as set out in the RTS. This rolling stock will be lighter, more reliable and more energy efficient.

8. Network Rail, through its leadership of the Network Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS) process, will take this work forward with the support of the cross-industry Technical Strategy Advisory Group.

9. The Intercity Express Programme (IEP), Thameslink and Crossrail programmes are intended to take forward the next generation of rolling stock. These programmes are all now likely to proceed and each requires that a substantial number of new vehicles be delivered on to the network.

10. The impact on rolling stock of these programmes and other significant projects is set out below.

Intercity Express Programme (IEP)

11. It is expected that the vehicles for the Intercity Express Programme will meet the aspirations in the RTS for the next generation of vehicles for longer distance travel and inter urban routes. The IEP base case introduces approximately 90 full train length equivalent diagrams from 2013 to 2017. There are options for a further approximately 50 full train length equivalent diagrams for introduction between 2014 and 2018. The procurement for the IEP is led by DfT with industry stakeholder involvement, including TOCs and Network Rail to deliver lowest whole life and whole system cost. The winning bidder will be responsible for design, manufacturing, financing, long-term maintenance plus operational reliability and availability. The IEP invitation to tender is available on the DfT website.

The Thameslink Programme

12. The Thameslink Programme delivers additional capacity onto this key cross London route. The programme is staged, with additional capacity (Key Output 1 - KO1) delivered in December 2011 and a further tranche of capacity (Key Output 2 – KO2) delivered in December 2015.

13. It is expected that the new vehicles for the Thameslink Programme Key Output 2 (KO2) in 2015 will be the next generation design for Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) as described in the RTS. The completion of the Thameslink Programme KO2 in 2015 requires the introduction of up to 1300 new vehicles. In order to introduce such a large number of new vehicles, it is anticipated that they will be phased into service over a period of time in advance of 2015.

14. The procurement options for the rolling stock for this project are currently being evaluated but it is likely that this will be led in the initial stages by the DfT.

15. In addition, the programme requires additional vehicles for KO1 in 2011. It is expected that these vehicles will be either cascaded existing EMU vehicles or new vehicles based on existing designs with some, but maybe not all, of the features of the next generation vehicles. However, it is possible that the next generation vehicles proposed for KO2 in 2015 could be delivered earlier, possibly by 2010 – 2011, if manufacturers are capable of delivering the required outputs.

16. Once next generation vehicles are introduced for KO2, the existing fleet of EMUs operating the Thameslink routes could be used for cascade on to other routes to deliver additional HLOS capacity.

Back to top