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Scotland seeks rail freight plan to secure growth

Network Rail, freight operators and other stakeholders have launched a joint strategy to develop the amount of rail freight carried in Scotland.

The Industry Growth Plan for Rail Freight, launched on March 15, identifies four areas where the freight industry says it must improve: encouraging customer confidence; developing growth; doing things differently; and achieving simpler solutions.

If these are acted on, it could help to boost rail freight to meet a 7.5% growth target set by the Scottish government.

The plan sets out how Scotland could meet the growth target on a range of routes. It points out that around 45 freight trains run per day, and that if growth was measured on the number of trains, meeting it would require an extra three trains per day during Control Period 6 (2019-24).

A range of traffics with growth potential is identified, including intermodal, whisky, timber, construction and metals.

Potential infrastructure interventions are also highlighted. These include gauge enhancement, electrification of the Edinburgh suburban line to allow freight trains to bypass Edinburgh Waverley, and removal of speed restrictions.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 875, published on March 27, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from March 23.

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