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Average age of Britain’s train fleet falls for first time in more than a decade

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The average age of Britain’s rolling stock fleet has fallen for the first time since 2005, reflecting the increasing number of new trains arriving on the network.

There were more than 14,000 vehicles in the national fleet at the end of 2017/18, with an average age of 19.6 years, according the new statistics from the ORR.

The average age of Britain’s rolling stock has been gradually rising since 2005 following the initial wave of investment in new trains that followed privatisation.

More than 1,500 new vehicles were ordered during 2017/18 and the ORR estimates that around 7,200 new vehicles are expected to be delivered between 2014 and 2021 – more the half of the current fleet.

As a result the average age of rolling stock is predicted to fall to 15 years by March 2021.

The youngest average age was recorded at 13 years in Q2 of 2005/6.

Read more: Bi-Mode Good, Tri-Mode Better


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  1. Newer trains should last lot longer because of how they were built and manufactured. And the reliability of how the new trains do run and the passengers that are using the trains with state-of-the-art technology and features such as-WiFi, Air-Conditioning, lighting, interiors, standing space. Comfortable seats, PIS (Passenger Information System), that can have lots of information such as train destinations or where the train terminates at, station stops where the train does stop at, travel information (including interchange for other rail services and London Underground lines) and many more.

    Plus with new trains that are completely walkthrough accessible between each carriage without having to press the button to open the doors from one carriage to the other to ease overcrowding. And with flip up seats that can be used for disabled commuters and parents with babies in pushprams whilst traveling on any train. And with disabled toilets & normal toilets or in some cases on TfL Rail (Elizabeth Line) Class 345s and London Overground Class 710s which doesn’t have any toilets. But WiFi is already installed for passengers to use whilst traveling on those trains.

    New trains in the UK will help provide the way that us people will travel on any kind of train such as to commute to work. Or going out on day trips, holiday trips & leisure purposes.

  2. Would that we here in the Lake District could join the party. Until Arriva Rail North were handed our service from TPE by the DfT in 2016 against all advice, the average age of our rolling stock, courtesy of First Group, over the previous 25 years was just 5 years. Now we have inherited 30-year old trains, with a suggestion from Mr Grayling that it is also acceptable to have other 30-year old units converted from ex-ThamesLink stock to bi-mode operation, because he decided not to electrify our 10-mile single line.


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