Rail freight

Rail freight activity continues to decline in Q2

Rail freight activity continues to decline in Q2

02.12.16: Activity in the rail freight industry has continued to struggle in Q2, as the decline in coal being moved also spread to renewable sectors such as biomass, the latest ORR figures show. According to new statistics from the ORR, in Q2 this ye...

GB Railfreight acquisition completed

GB Railfreight acquisition completed

17.11.16: EQT Infrastructure II has completed its acquisition of GB Railfreight Ltd from Groupe Eurotunnel. It was announced last month that Group Eurotunnel was considering the offer from EQT for its subsidiary company, which is the third largest fr...

Clear policy statements needed for rail freight development

Clear policy statements needed for rail freight development

10.11.16: Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail manager, reflects on the DfT’s new rail freight strategy and what it means for the sector. The DfT rail freight strategy, published in September, is most welcome as it provides a clear vision for rail...

Groupe Eurotunnel to sell GB Railfreight

Groupe Eurotunnel to sell GB Railfreight

19.10.16: Groupe Eurotunnel (GET) has received a binding and irrevocable offer from EQT Infrastructure II for the potential acquisition of its subsidiary, GB Railfreight (GBRf). If GET accepts the offer, it will use the profits to boost its core infr...

Rail freight activity considerably down in Q1

Rail freight activity considerably down in Q1

30.09.16: Activity in the rail freight sector is declining compared to the same time last year, linked to a number of factors including the decline of the coal sector. New statistics from the ORR show that the total volume of freight moved in the fir...

Rail freight sector must do more to ‘sell its collective benefits’

Rail freight sector must do more to ‘sell its collective benefits’

13.09.16: The rail freight industry must do more to ‘sell’ its benefits as it faces challenges such as a lack of network capacity, the DfT’s rail freight strategy has said. The report notes: “The rail freight industry has many...

Mainline upgrades needed to allow longer and extra freight trains, says TfN

Mainline upgrades needed to allow longer and extra freight trains, says TfN

09.09.16: The rail network in the north must be upgraded to allow 20% longer freight trains to operate on a six-day week basis, as well as connect to newly-developed multimodal distribution parks (MDPs) that limit freight activity by road, Transport for t...

Changes promised to reduce impact of controversial freight interchange

Changes promised to reduce impact of controversial freight interchange

26.08.16: The developers behind a proposed freight interchange in Northamptonshire have altered the plans to try to address residents’ concerns. The Rail Central Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) will take up eight million square feet o...

Delivering for freight

Delivering for freight

07.07.16: Paul McMahon, managing director of freight and national passenger operators at Network Rail, discusses the core elements and plans for the new virtual freight route. From carrying cars for export and supplying supermarkets to supporting our...

SRFIs and the development consent order process

SRFIs and the development consent order process

06.07.16: Elizabeth Dunn, a partner, and Stephen Humphreys, an associate in Burges Salmon’s Planning & CPO team discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges (SRFIs) in the UK. Government statistics s...

Transforming rail freight through technology

Transforming rail freight through technology

05.07.16: Rail freight in the UK is changing, with traditional markets such as coal and steel falling significantly and growth coming in new sectors where user expectations are constantly increasing, writes Maggie Simpson, executive director of the Rail F...

Proposals for new West Midlands freight hub open to public consultation

Proposals for new West Midlands freight hub open to public consultation

14.06.16: A new rail freight hub with direct access to the West Coast Main Line could be built near Featherstone in Staffordshire. Consortium Four Ashes are holding consultation events on design plans for the West Midlands Interchange, which will be...

GB Railfreight names last Class 66 locomotive ‘Evening Star’

GB Railfreight names last Class 66 locomotive ‘Evening Star’

11.05.16: GB Railfreight has named the last Class 66 locomotive to be built for the UK and European markets ‘Evening Star’. Locomotive 66779, which has been liveried in lined passenger express ‘brunswick green’, was named afte...

How does freight fit in with rail devolution?

How does freight fit in with rail devolution?

05.04.16: Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail manager, Campaign for Better Transport, discusses the recommendations from the Shaw Report and what this means for the freight sector. The nervously awaited Shaw Report, which was buried in the spring Budge...

New Scottish Rail Freight Strategy promises more support and investment in CP6

New Scottish Rail Freight Strategy promises more support and investment in CP6

22.03.16: The Scottish freight industry will receive special support in CP6 following measures laid out in the new Rail Freight Strategy. The strategy, published today, says that the freight industry will provide advice to the Scottish government on...

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Potential Leicester to Coventry rail link mulled over in updated Leicestershire transport vision

22/02/2019Potential Leicester to Coventry rail link mulled over in updated Leicestershire transport vision

The potential of a Leicester to Coventry rail link has been revived again as one of the key highlights of a new transport masterplan outlined by ... more >
Queues of 15,000 and Eurostar chaos at St Pancras in no-deal Brexit

22/02/2019Queues of 15,000 and Eurostar chaos at St Pancras in no-deal Brexit

Eurostar queues of up to 15,000 passengers could mount up at London’s St Pancras International station in the event of a no-deal Brexit, ac... more >
New head of safety and environment for Hull Trains announced

21/02/2019New head of safety and environment for Hull Trains announced

A new head of safety and environment has been announced by Hull Trains, with Mark Shepherd due to replace Phil Green in the role. Bringing m... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Williams Rail Review: The end of saying sorry?

05/02/2019Williams Rail Review: The end of saying sorry?

Keith Williams’ ongoing Rail Review presents a golden opportunity to rebuild the industry’s weakened relationship with its users and set it on a better track for the future, argues David Sidebottom, passenger director at Transport Focus. Passengers waiting at stations today are not peering down the line looking for a strategy ... more >
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TrackWater: Embracing data in flood prevention

05/02/2019TrackWater: Embracing data in flood prevention

Mike Harding, from Lancaster University’s Data Science Institute, introduces us to TrackWater: an innovative project between Lancaster Univ... more >
High-speed rail cannot stand in isolation

05/02/2019High-speed rail cannot stand in isolation

Last year, the Scottish Government announced two feasibility studies to better understand the economic and environmental implications of options ... more >
Flying Banana reaps the fruit of its labour

05/02/2019Flying Banana reaps the fruit of its labour

Steve Quinby, Network Rail’s head of data collection, gives us the rundown on the state-of-the-art ‘Flying Banana’ train. ... more >
Introducing the new Passenger Assist app

05/02/2019Introducing the new Passenger Assist app

Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group, explains how a new app developed for the rail industry wil... more >

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TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >