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HS2 could be fast line for rail freight growth

[ October 22, 2020   //   ]

HS2 Ltd, builders of the new high-speed passenger rail line between London, the Midlands and the North, has released a new video highlighting how the additional capacity it will create on Britain’s existing rail network will benefit rail freight for the movement of goods between ports and inland distribution centres.

Filmed at the Port of Tilbury in Essex – a major rail as well as shipping hub – the video shows how additional network capacity for rail freight is essential for Britain’s low carbon future, as transporting goods by rail creates 76% less carbon dioxide emissions than equivalent road journey. 

HS2 says that by putting fast passenger services on dedicated high-speed lines, HS2 will create more space on the existing railway for the growing rail freight sector.

HS2 says that with logistics companies striving for a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and extra enquiries coming in as customers see rail as part of their supply chain decarbonisations plans, HS2’s capacity benefits will allow ports and distribution centres to offer more rail slots to their customers on the existing network. Forth Ports-owned Tilbury anticipates the amount of materials moved by rail will increase by 900,000 tonnes per annum within the next five years.

Forth Ports chief financial officer Carole Cran, said: “HS2 will give us the headroom to grow our network of low carbon delivery routes. By building a new rail line, HS2 takes fast trains off the existing railway and places them on their own dedicated tracks. This allows local and freight trains to run at similar speeds on the existing lines, freeing up space across the network for many more passenger and freight services, so there are benefits for everyone, not just those who will travel on HS2.”

(The next printed issue of FBJ (FBJ 8 2020) will include a report on the rail freight sector.)