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UK upgrades rail system with fleet of new trains

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-05-16 09:15

The Digswell Viaduct, also known as Welwyn Viaduct, a railway viaduct that carries the East Coast Main Line over the River Mimram is seen in Digswell, Britain, November 16, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON - The arrival of a fleet of state-of-the-art trains on Britain's East Coast Main Line has marked the start of the latest phase of the a modernization of Britain's rail system, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said Wednesday.

A total of 4,500 new carriages are being rolled out across the country by 2022, with greener trains built to the latest modern standards to transform the railways, the Department for Transport (DfT) said.

Alongside the arrival of new trains, designed and built for the 21st century, Grayling said a record 48 billion pounds ($62 billion) is being spent upgrading thousands of kilometers of rail tracks.

Train operators across Britain will replace old trains to transform the environment of passengers to enable faster journeys and provide more comfort and better accessibility, marking the next step in one of the biggest transformations of fleets across the country.

Grayling added: "Alongside these new trains, we have also been clear that we want to see alternatively-powered trains introduced to the UK rail network where required, alongside electric trains."

More new trains will appear on Greater Anglia and South Western Railway networks in the coming months.

London has already benefitted from a massive investment in its railways, with more than 1,140 new carriages delivered as part of the Thameslink program to transform rail travel through the British capital.

The DfT said in 2018, the total carbon dioxide emissions on passenger trains dropped by 195 kilotons, the equivalent of taking 85,000 cars off the road. This comes despite the distance passengers have travelled going up by 200 million kilometers in the same period.

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