UK to phase out diesel-only trains in UK by 2040 - FT

(Reuters) - The UK government has set out plans to end the use of diesel-only trains on Britain’s railways by 2040, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

Rail minister Jo Johnson will call on the rail industry in a speech on Monday to draw up plans to phase out diesel-only trains, the FT said.

"I would like to see us take all diesel-only trains off the track by 2040," Johnson will say in the speech, the FT said. "If that seems like an ambitious goal, it should be and I make no apology for that."

An estimated 29 percent of Britain’s current fleet is run solely on diesel fuel, according to the FT’s report.

Last year, Britain said it would ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040 in an attempt to reduce air pollution that could herald the end of over a century of reliance on the internal combustion engine.

The British government had been under pressure to take steps to reduce air pollution after losing legal cases brought by campaign groups. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives had pledged to make “almost every car and van” zero-emission by 2050.

Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru; Editing by Daniel Wallis