The removal of diesel trains from operation in the UK could be accelerated as part of the UK government’s plans to reduce carbon emissions.

In a speech in February 2018, the UK’s then-Minister of State for rail, Jo Johnson (brother of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson), stated that he “would like to see us take all diesel-only trains off the track by 2040”. However, less than two years later in October 2019 (and during a week when attention was focussed on whether Prime Minister Johnson would reach agreement with the European Union on Brexit), Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps told the Parliamentary Transport Select Committee that “when I look at my comments on cars where, at the moment, the policy is 2040 to end the sale of petrol and diesel [cars], I recently said that I am going to investigate 2035. I am of course very interested in the earlier extinction of diesel trains”.

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