National Rail plan to invest £206m into UK rail freight
Network Rail has dedicated £206 million for the development of the strategic rail freight network over the next five years.
In their ‘Strategic Business Plan for 2014-2019’, the UK rail network operators outlined a key goal to provide ‘a more attractive offer for freight’ as part of their £37bn investment in Britain’s railway infrastructure during the 2014-2019 period known as ‘Control Period Five’.
According to proposals, the investment will help cater for growth of 30 percent in rail freight tonnage by 2019. The plans hope to upgrade strategic freight routes to accommodate bigger containers, in addition to reducing the need for freight trains to travel via London and moving freight from road to rail, with the ambitious goal of moving one million lorries off the road per year.
In an online statement released by Network Rail, Lindsay Durham, chair of the Rail Freight Operators’ Association said: “The Government has continued to demonstrate its support for rail freight with a commitment to further investment in key freight corridors in Control Period 5. The rail industry is determined to match this commitment by increasing the modal share of freight moved by rail, delivering environmental and economic benefits to the UK. Building on efficiency gains already achieved, continuing to improve customer service and investing further in rolling stock and terminals will all contribute to these aims. The Industry Strategic Business Plan will deliver industry agreed forecasts to increase rail freight tonnage moved by 4% per annum until 2030.”
Since the privatisation of the UK rail network, there has been a 62 percent increase in freight moved by rail.