Freight News, Rail

Rail group urges end to freight scheme standstill

[ September 30, 2015   //   ]

The Rail Freight Group (RFG) has called on Government to urgently confirm that key rail upgrades for freight are to go ahead as planned, following the announcement on 30 September that the Midland Main Line and Transpennine electrification schemes are to be ‘unpaused’.
Key freight schemes presently amongst those included in Sir Peter Hendy’s review of Network Rail’s enhancement programme include the upgrade of the Felixstowe to Nuneaton route, work to enable longer trains to run from the Port of Southampton and improved links to the new container terminal and biomass facility at the Port of Liverpool. 
RFG says that the uncertainty created by the review is causing concern for freight operators and customers. To date, a planned upgrade of freight capacity between Ely and Soham has been cancelled, and other schemes are believed to be delayed.
RFG executive director, Maggie Simpson, said: “We understand the funding pressures facing Network Rail across their enhancement programme, and the work underway to resolve this. But the freight sector has waited long enough for confirmation that these critical schemes can go ahead as planned, and deliver the expected benefits. With progress today announced on other key schemes, Government should make the same commitment for freight.”

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