Network Rail is to look at three alternative rail solutions as part of efforts to deliver a better-value-for-money railway.
Tram and train, community rail initiatives and more innovative ways of replacing diesel traction with electrically powered trains will all be studied in more detail as part of the company’s alternative solutions route utilisation strategy (RUS).
To further develop the strategy, an invitation is being made to all of Network Rail’s partners, customers and other interested industry parties to submit their ideas.
Network Rail said in a statement that this approach differs from previous RUS processes, adding that submissions will help shape a second draft that will go out to formal consultation in the summer.
Paul Plummer, Network Rail’s group strategy director, said: ‘The railway industry faces a constant challenge to deliver value for money. It is only by rising to that challenge that the industry can continue to play a significant role in transporting people and goods in an efficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly way.
‘This draft RUS is an opportunity to further explore three key areas that could help us achieve these objectives. All responses received will be considered and will help influence a second draft, which will be published for consultation later in the year.’
The consultation will last for 60 days starting on Tuesday 28 February and closing on 30 April 2012.
Network Rail says it will write to a range of partners and interested parties informing them of the consultation and asking them to submit their ideas to email@example.com.