The Rail Freight Group has reaffirmed is support for the HS2 project, which is now under review by the government, saying it is an important project for freight, but a review is probably right.
However, RFG director general Maggie Simpson said: “It is probably right that the project is reviewed, and that options which might reduce the costs or enhance the benefits for all users are looked into.”
HS2 could benefit rail freight in two ways. In the construction phase it is expected to use engineering trains for spoil removal, supply of materials and so on.
In addition, Phases 1 and 2A will release capacity on the West Coast which freight operators will be able to bid into.
Simpson pointed out, though, that the RFG has some “concerns over parts of the existing network where HS2 trains will run alongside conventional trains and freight, and we are concerned that there may not be enough capacity for all uses”.
“I think it is probably right that the project is reviewed, and that options which might reduce the costs or enhance the benefits for all users are looked into. We are certainly keen that impacts on the existing network are included in the review work. However overall we would support the continuation of the project for the overall benefits it would deliver,” she said.