Network Rail study targets faster freight on enhanced network

DRS 66434 and 66430 pass Hest Bank. PHIL METCALFE.

Longer and faster freight trains running on a higher-capacity rail network form the cornerstone of Network Rail’s draft Freight Network Study that was released for consultation in August.

Increases in line speed on key sections of the Strategic Freight Network are considered, as is the development of a network-wide capacity for 775-metre trains. Gauge enhancement and creation of more diversionary routes to enable new intermodal freight services is also discussed in the 108-page document.

Key schemes proposed include dynamic loops from Tebay to Shap Summit, from Penrith to Shap in the Up direction, and on the Up line between Carlisle to Plumpton near Penrith. The cost of these interventions ranges from £250 million to £500m for the first two, and £375m for the latter. Remodelling of Carstairs Junction, including bi-directional signalling and rationalisation of existing junctions, is expected to be undertaken with track renewals in Control Period 6 (2019-2024), at a cost of up to £250m.

  • For more on this story, read RAIL 808, published on August 31.

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  • FrankH - 02/09/2016 22:17

    The photo above shows what is needed, more head end power. The tesco train is only looped at Carlisle NY on the run from Preston - Mossend because it can keep its speed up the banks at Shap and Beatock allowing it not to be caught by the 3 passenger trains per hour.

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  • FrankH - 10/09/2016 00:59

    Shouldn't the loops read Tebay - Shap summit, up direction. Carlisle - Plumpton down line (towards london), Penrith - Shap down direction, this would be after the 2 bridges that cross the M6.. It's strange but very few northbound freights get looped, whereas southbound trains get looped regularly.

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