Viva Great Western Railway

There are so many things to celebrate following the news announcement earlier this week that GWR had purchased Vivarail’s assets following it having sadly entered into administration at the end of last year. 

Naturally the saving of a number of jobs is great to hear but in addition the protection of the highly innovative technology which will ultimately help to support the introduction of battery powered trains onto our network has to be a good thing. Following on from this acquisition, GWR intends to enter into real time testing and trails which will be welcome news to many. In particular those focussed on the UK’s target to achieve net zero within the public transport sector. 

Many times I have championed the green credentials which rail has to offer, whether due to the movement of people or stuff. This however, along with the work being done on the various hydrogen powered trains, could be a game changer. 

Whilst the concept of battery powered cars and trucks is well established, with automotive exploring new ownership models such as battery as a service, it will be interesting to see how rail adopts these new technologies to ensure that it can meet the target of having removed all diesel only traction from the network by 2040. 

With hydrogen and battery now both being actively explored it may well come down to the DfT and/or GBR to just place the first order.

This work is a key part of our commitment to reduce the carbon emissions of our train fleet with a view to removing all diesel-only traction from the network by 2040, in line with the Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan.”

GWR Engineering Director, Simon Green


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



Read the latest articles and commentary from Shoosmiths or you can explore our full insights library.