London, United Kingdom (Urban Transport News): The 108-km long HS1 project which links London, Kent and the Channel Tunnel through High-Speed Railways is now on track to becoming the first railway to run entirely on renewable energy.
Wind and solar power lie at the heart of a procurement process that is already underway to ensure the only high-speed railway in the country runs solely on sustainable power.
"We have secured so-called Renewable Electricity Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificates, from our electricity supplier, npower Business Solutions, enabling us to report zero-carbon emissions for the electricity used to power trains and stations," said an official release issued by HS1 Ltd.
"As a business, we also pledge to be fully carbon-neutral within a decade, as set out in stringent new environmental targets in our new sustainability strategy, which focusses on enhancing HS1's reputation as the Green Gateway to Europe," added in the release.
"We continue to work with our international operator, Eurostar, and domestic operator Southeastern High Speed (LSER) to reduce the carbon footprint of every passenger by 25% and to cut energy per train journey by 10%," further said.
The international high-speed line already removes the equivalent of 60,000 short-haul flights, or 750,000 tonnes of CO2e, each year. Domestic services on the line remove 6,000 lorries and cars from the roads every year. Almost 4 million of the 26 million people who use HS1 Ltd’s international and domestic services have switched from using cars and aeroplanes, with average carbon emissions up to 80% lower for train passengers than airline passengers over the same distance.
These savings mirror the UK Government’s desire to achieve a green recovery for the transport sector post Covid-19.
Britain has set a target of building a net-zero carbon transport system by 2050.
"We are absolutely committed to driving forward a greener, cleaner and more efficient railway, and it is fantastic to see HS1 making such significant strides towards decarbonising their network," said UK rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris.
HS1 is owned by InfraRed Capital Partners and Equitix Investment Management.