The Sleeper's Blog

27.08.19

Rail Freight Group’s Maggie Simpson on supply chain opportunities, Digital Railway, and HS2

Rail freight is vital to Britain’s economic success. Contributing £1.7bn to the economy, it is a vibrant, growing sector. As Director of the Rail Freight Group, Maggie Simpson, plays a key part in ensuring the voices of Rail Freight Group members are heard.

Maggie joins us to discuss how freight is playing a significant role in the construction of HS2, the supply chain opportunities available and how she is working with other sectors within the industry to ensure rail freight is a key part of the northern transport network.

Maggie will join, Peter Molyneux, Major Roads Director, Transport for the North Tim Morris, Chief Executive Officer, UK Major Ports Group and Dan Fell, Chief Executive, Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, on an INDUSTRY FIRST Rail, Road, Sea and Air Panel discussion this October at TransCityRail North 2019.

 As RFG Director, how do you ensure government and rail industry policy supports the growth of rail freight?

At RFG we campaign for more goods to be moved by rail, and for a policy environment which supports that growth.  When this leads to new services and investment in new equipment, terminals and technology; this benefits businesses across the sector.

The passenger railway tends to dominate policy - the RFG works to make sure that freight is remembered as a key part of that story.  The voice of our members, as businesses who rely on rail freight, is key in getting that message across.

In the recent National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) report, ‘Better Delivery: The Challenge for Freight’, published in April 2019, part of the strategy was to enable rail freight to reach zero emissions by 2020. Can you tell us more about this, and the potential opportunities for the supply chain?

All parts of the industry need to look at reducing and eliminating carbon emissions by 2050, and rail freight is no exception.  Today, rail is acknowledged as a low carbon choice, producing 76% less carbon dioxide than the equivalent journey by road, and we need to ensure that we can continue to improve on this.  There are various research programmes underway, and we are keen to support the case for renewed investment in rail electrification.

‘HS2 is an important project for the UK railway, and the freight sector continues to support its development’ - can you describe how HS2 might impact the rail freight industry and supply chain?

Rail freight will have a significant role to play in the construction of HS2, both for outbound construction spoil and inbound materials.  The supply chain will need to support these operations with new equipment and resources.  We also need to make sure that there is sufficient rail capacity to deliver the necessary train services.

How will digital railway influence the freight industry? 

There is excellent progress in establishing how freight locomotives will be fitted with the right equipment for digital signalling.  It is important that the plans for digital railway include freight as a fundamental part of our network in the planning and funding of the first round of projects.

This October you are participating in the TransCityRail North Road, Rail, Sea & Air Leaders Debate. How important is it for different sectors to come together at major networking events, and spread knowledge to other industry executives?

The transport system works as a whole – rail freight relies on ports and road freight and vice versa.  Yet, policy is often made in a vacuum; rather than looking at the overall objective of moving goods-

working with other sectors is critical to making the case for rail as part of modern logistics.

Rail freight is a vibrant, growing sector, and needs to be a key part of the northern transport network and their business plans.

Comments

   28/08/2019 at 04:41

   28/08/2019 at 04:41

   28/08/2019 at 04:42

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

New railway station between Hinckley and Nuneaton receives backing

12/09/2019New railway station between Hinckley and Nuneaton receives backing

Plans for a new railway station between Hinckley and Nuneaton looks set to go ahead following backing from councillors. Nuneaton Parkway Sta... more >
New fleet on the horizon for Hull Trains

09/09/2019New fleet on the horizon for Hull Trains

Louise Cheeseman, managing director of Hull Trains, describes how a new fleet of rolling stock looks set to revolutionise the operator and their ... more >
Investing in the country’s future workforce

05/09/2019Investing in the country’s future workforce

Clair Mowbray, chief executive of the National College for High Speed Rail, talks about addressing the skills gap and investing in new talent acr... 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 TOC, gives RTM an update on the innovative scheme. Recognising that young people are more likely to take a risk trespassing on railway tracks, CrossCountry and the Scouts have come together to encourage Britain’s younger generations to be... more > more last word articles >
board2

'the sleepers' daily blog

Network Rail’s, Anna-Jane Hunter on HS2, NPR, and supply chain opportunities

29/08/2019Network Rail’s, Anna-Jane Hunter on HS2, NPR, and supply chain opportunities

Anna- Jane Hunter, is a ‘proud northerner’ and is passionate about continuing the investment and the success story of rail across the North.  She plays a key role in working with government and northern leaders to enable the network to carry on thriving. We caught up with Anna-Jane, for her expertise and insight into conn... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

  • 11/09/2019The next generation of rail infrastructure

    How the rail industry delivers the next generation of complex infrastructure will rely heavily on the people tasked with leading the projects, and the...
  • 11/09/2019Putting passengers first

    How does the rail industry design the railways for the next 40 years, and when it does, how do we make sure it’s all done with the passenger in mind?...
  • 10/09/2019Cleaning up the railways

    Jim Knox, director of Gard Chemicals, explains how the company is helping the rail industry ensure they have the best cleaning and maintenance...
View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in ... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >