Rail freight sector demands Government commitment

Government needs to provide certainty to the rail freight industry with infill electrification programmes and continued access to the network, Rail Freight Group Director General Maggie Simpson told the House of Commons Transport Select Committee on July 8.

The TSC quizzed Simpson, as well as Freight Transport Association Director of Policy Elizabeth de Jong and Road Haulage Association Chief Executive Richard Burnett, on the implications for transport (freight and maritime) as a result of COVID-19.

Simpson told MPs: “We are in an unpredictable financial outlook. We are asking Government to do things to give confidence back to the rail freight market. We need that certainty around capacity. We cannot buy bi-mode and electric locomotives and new terminals without certainty of access to the network.”

She added: “It’s clear that the big diesel alternatives, hydrogen and battery, are not suitable. Overhead line electrification helps, and we have operators who will buy locomotives if there is the certainty.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 909, published on July 15, and available digitally from July 11.

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