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An analysis of the methods used to calculate the emissions of rolling stock in the UK

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Marin Marinov



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


The aim of this paper is to analyse and compare the different modes of operation of UK rail based on direct and indirect emissions. The three modes under comparison were; diesel, electric and bi-mode. As well as comparing these three modes of operation, a comparison between Conventional, Freight and High Speed Rail was made. Alternate fuels were considered for diesel and bi-mode locomotives and compared based on their environmental impact. The three chosen methods were used to calculate the emissions of each train and a comparison of these methods was made. In the current UK energy climate, diesel trains emit less emissions than electric trains when factoring in mechanical and air resistances. Bi-mode trains have their place in the UK network but with electrification of the network currently in place, this mode of operation will become redundant in the near future. High Speed Rail, although time efficient, releases high emissions due to energy consumption increasing with the square of speed. Alternative fuels, such as biodiesel, should be a consideration for the future of rail, as emissions fall dramatically with content of biodiesel in fuel blends.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Esters T, Marinov M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Transportation Research Part D: Environment and Transport

Year: 2014

Volume: 33

Pages: 1-16

Print publication date: 01/12/2014

Online publication date: 30/09/2014

Date deposited: 30/09/2014

ISSN (print): 1361-9209

ISSN (electronic): 1879-2340

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.trd.2014.08.012


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