FTA backs government rail freight plan

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The Freight Transport Association’s rail freight council has backed the government’s vision for the future of rail freight as set out in the Department for Transport’s publication Strategic Freight Network: Long Term Vision.

The areas addressed by DfT’s paper included thinking on longer and heavier trains, seven day/24-hour capability, gauge enhancement, new freight capacity and electrification. The government describes the strategic rail freight network as “a core network of trunk freight routes, capable of accommodating more and longer freight trains, with a selective ability to handle wagons with higher axle loads and greater loading gauge, integrated with and complementing the UK’s existing mixed traffic network”.

Council secretary Chris MacRae said: “Our challenge will now be to keep rail freight’s profile on the political agenda so that current and future funding for this project is secured in the next Parliament and, with it, the growth of rail freight in the UK.”

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