Optimising the Design, Maintenance and Operation of Branch Lines

The GB railway industry is under considerable financial pressures at the same time as striving to achieve greater reliability, decarbonisation targets and a return to growth in patronage. In addition, the Department for Transport is currently providing funding to support feasibility studies for reinstating passenger service on a number of lines and stations. One aspect of meeting these challenges is to reduce the costs of existing branch lines and make the disused ones more affordable to return to use. This proposal outlines a scoping study to examine the opportunities for lowering design, maintenance and operations costs of branch lines.

This initial scoping study aims to:

  1. Examine potential opportunities to lower the design, maintenance and operation costs of infrastructure and rolling stock for branch lines whilst achieving the necessary functional outputs.

  2. Identify the extent to which existing evidence is available to support the exploitation of the opportunities identified, and the knowledge gaps that need to be addressed before these opportunities can be exploited.