Freight News, Rail

Scots government pledges £25m to get freight on to rail

[ May 10, 2019   //   ]

The Scottish government says it has ring-fenced up to £25 million of funding to help strengthen rail freight over the next five years.
Announced by Transport Secretary Michael Matheson during a visit to the Freightliner Terminal in Coatbridge on 9 May, the fund is open to rail freight industry partners, including Network Rail and Transport Scotland for improvements which meet freight modal shift objectives. Investment in wagons or locomotives could also qualify.
Mr Matheson said: “Rail freight services are vital to sustainable economic growth across Scotland. This fund will support the development and delivery of strategic rail freight projects which improve capacity and capability. It aims to build on and complement our existing and future investment in Scotland’s railways.”
He added: “Working with Network Rail, we are also encouraging a sharper business-focus and setting challenging but achievable regulatory targets for freight in terms of average speed, performance and growth.”
If follows a recently announced commitment by the Scottish government to shift more freight from road to rail.
Director general of the Rail Freight Group, Maggie Simpson, added: “This commitment from Scottish Government is welcome news for the rail freight industry and will allow vital upgrades to Scotland’s railways, unlocking capacity and capability for new services. This is good news for freight customers, for the Scottish economy and for the environment.”
The Fund will be administered by Transport Scotland and a new Scottish Rail Freight Forum will be established.

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