Rail freight forward thinking

Published 14 June 2021

With a steep reduction in UK train passenger numbers and a thinned-out passenger train timetable due to COVID-19, freight and logistics firm Freightliner has been exploring new types of services to improve efficiency and productivity. The initiatives involve major UK building material suppliers and also enable Freightliner to further enhance rail’s green credentials. By Freightliner, UK.

Freightliner is responding to the new landscape with trials involving Tarmac UK and Mendip Rail Ltd,

a joint venture between Hanson Aggregates and Aggregate Industries

Rail freight has continued to operate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, moving critical goods and materials around the country to ensure that supermarkets, factories and warehouses continue to be well supplied. Although COVID-19 has created many challenges for all parts of the economy, rail freight has demonstrated strong resilience and agility.

With a steep reduction in passenger numbers, and a thinned-out passenger train timetable, Freightliner has worked with Network Rail (the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain) and customers to identify opportunities to trial new types of services to challenge the capability limitations of the network, and to improve the efficiency and productivity of existing services. This has also enabled Freightliner to further enhance rail’s green credentials, particularly by supporting further reductions in carbon emissions per tonne of freight moved by rail. With more capacity available in the timetable, this has been an ideal opportunity to trial longer and heavier trains, with a lower associated performance risk. Freightliner has responded with flexibility, agility and ingenuity to respond to the changing landscape.

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