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

Timo Esters, Marin Marinov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this paper is to analyse and compare the methods used for calculating emissions of UK rolling stock based on their type and mode of operation. 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 emissions of trains were studied using three methods. Specifically, 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014

Bibliographical note

© 2014, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • Comparative study
  • Emissions
  • Methods
  • Rolling stock
  • Trains


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