It might seem that with North Sea oil, the energy crisis is beyond us. In fact, it's in front of us. About twenty years away at best, calculate the experts. Then wells everywhere in the world, including our own, will start to run dry. The 1977 report of the Workshop on Alternative Energy Strategies, sponsored by the Massachusetts Institue of Technology, concluded that "the supply of oil will fail to meet increasing demand before the year 2000, most probably between 1985 and 1995". A recent Government paper, by the Advisory Council on Energy Conservation, came to much the same conclusion. So Britain has got to develop a transport system that doesn't depend on oil. Which is one important reason for continuing to electrify our railways. Electric trains will run on any source of energy: coal, nuclear, gas or oil. Railway electrification now means we can keep going in the future.
After the turn of the century the world's oil will start to run out. One method of transport that will run on any basic fuel is the train. Our plans for electrification today mean we can keep going in the future.