At Georgemas Junction the platform lights have been on 24/7 for at least seven years for a safety reason (part of the platform is in darkness under the A9 overbridge), so with 99% of trains being only two-car, shortening the platform would have saved ScotRail some £55,000. Even fitting lights with photocells would cost around £500 and save over £7000 per year. Station lights lights burning when not required costs the railway around £30 million a year, let alone the extra costs of lamp renewal. Electric units stored with lighting and heating on will cost the TOCs around 10% of the units' total electrical usage, so £millions more wasted. Yet the biggest sin of wasted energy is Network Rail installing gas boilers for station heating that have no timed switch or external thermostats. If a station is staffed 05:30-23:00 why does the heating need to be on overnight? That's £300 per month per platform. To really save energy it is time that the TOCs took station maintenance in-house, as there is a conflict of interest with the contractors - the more lights, heating and air-conditioning work there is, the more repairs they require. That's £millions wasted from the pockets of passengers and from investors in the TOCs. Time for change.
Tom King, Wigston, Leics. (Letter to RailNews, December 2019)