Rail Operations (UK) chief executive Karl Watts has called on the logistics industry to work together to encourage modal shift and increase rail freight volumes.
Speaking at a reception in the House of Commons Watts said that improved rail freight would efficient, green, and rapid transportation of goods across the UK, against a backdrop of the growth in e-commerce and increased road congestion.
Rail Operations (UK) is starting trials in May 2020 of a regular high-speed logistics train services across major freight routes in the UK, which can reduce a 12-hour road delivery journey from Glasgow-Daventry-London, to 5.5 hours.
Watts said: “Conventional freight trains are simply too slow with average speeds of 25mph…. If we want to move more light goods, the answer is passenger trains specially redesigned to transport light goods at over 100mph on the UK rail network.
“This is big. We can make it happen but we [the logistics industry] need to work together. It is about transforming and making efficient the whole logistics supply chain — from urban logistics hubs, warehousing, and last-mile transportation.”
By Michelle Mooney