A regular reader of this blog wrote to me after I wrote about the abandonment of rail electrification to Swansea, saying:
I am an electrical engineer with 30 years experience of working in the railway industry both in Britain and abroad. The purpose of this email is to confirm the support of many people within my sector for the cancellation of any further electrification projects.
The reason for this is simple: new technology is now available which makes traditional overhead gantry power supply obsolete. Battery storage has reached the breakthrough point and is being deployed on new Hull Trains services; in the USA as well as the Middle East and India remarkable work is being done to introduce the Hyperloop transport system promoted by Elan Musk which will make both traditional rail and short haul air travel redundant. HS2 is known across my industry as the High Speed Gravy Train for good reason.
It was a mistake to authorise the electrification of the Great Western line to Bristol from Paddington but nothing can be done about that now - unfortunately. At least the taxpayer is not being told to pay for yet more unnecessary expenditure.
I had not heard this argument before. Chris Grayling most certainly did not refer to it. If it's true it's a fascinating development. Any comment would be of interest. It changes the perspective of the future of public transport if it is, and the Green New Deal come to that. And yes, I am a bit of a railway buff on the side. I can deal with all the comments that will follow from that admission.