Delivering a Climate Resilient Future for Rail



Delivering a Climate Resilient Future for Rail

Authors

K Avery, TRL; J Dora, Network Rail, UK

Description

The RSSB funded 'Tomorrow's Railway and Climate Change Adaptation' (TRaCCA) study provides a strong foundation to deliver step changes in the knowledge of climate impacts and adaptation actions in the rail sector.

Abstract

The rail sector faces the unprecedented challenge of continuing to deliver a safe, efficient and reliable service while understanding and addressing potential changes in the intensity and frequency of weather events, as a result of climate change. Network Rail, responsible for managing the Great Britain's national rail infrastructure, has made significant steps forward in understanding the vulnerability of the GB rail system to climate change.

The first stages of the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) funded project 'Tomorrow's Railway and Climate Change Adaptation' (TRaCCA) have investigated the potential impacts of changes in climate on the railway utilising robust UK climate projections, operational data, thresholds and expert knowledge. The TRaCCA study provides a strong foundation to deliver step changes in the knowledge of climate impacts and adaptation actions in the rail sector.

In order to build upon the study findings, a comprehensive five year climate resilience programme is under development. The programme will be founded on the vulnerability priorities identified in the TRaCCA study, including heat impacts on track, overhead line equipment, workforce; flooding impacts on track and property, scour, landslip risk; obstructions caused by high winds; and sea level rise. The programme extends the focus to incorporate investigations into vulnerabilities and resilience within system inter-dependencies and identification of lessons that can be learnt from action being taken outside Britain.

This paper presents the key findings and recommendations from the TRaCCA study so far, and describes the development of the climate resilience programme aiming to support increases in climate change adaptation knowledge and delivery of decision support tools to facilitate implementation of appropriate adaptation actions in the GB rail sector.

Publisher

Association for European Transport