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Railhub Archive
1997-09-17 RTK-001
Railtrack plc


Railtrack announces study into improving trans-Pennine rail freight routes

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Railtrack plc

Railtrack announces study into improving trans-Pennine rail freight routes

17 September 1997
source Railtrack plc
type Press release

A scheme to look at improving rail freight links between major ports on the East and West coasts of Britain was launched by Railtrack today.

Speaking at the Strategic Roads Conference in London, Railtrack's Head of Freight Robin Gisby announced a plan to examine the best ways of providing better rail freight services on the trans-Pennine route from Liverpool to Hull and/or Immingham, which crosses Britain to link Ireland with mainland Europe.

The scheme, which also aims to take traffic from the M62, responds to the continuing expansion of Britain's ports. Inland distribution of freight from ports is increasing at over ten per cent per year - making it the fastest growing market for rail freight. The route will include connections to inland destinations such as Manchester and Doncaster.

Improved rail links should increase the amount of traffic handled by the ports. Currently around 200,000 freight containers travel to and from Ireland on their way to the continent. Less than ten per cent of those travel by rail.

Robin Gisby said: "This is the next phase of our plans to get freight off the roads and on to rail. It builds on the £2 million Railtrack is already investing on development studies for core freight routes across the country. Rail-based distribution can offer an attractive, cost-effective and efficient alternative to road."

Work on the feasibility study will begin in the next few weeks. It will examine which ports and inland terminals the rail link will include, together with the most appropriate route and funding options. Railtrack has written to invite the involvement of port authorities, local authorities and train operators. Freightliner, the leading intermodal operator, is planning to introduce a trial service between Manchester and Hull shortly.

The study joins work already started on the development of upgrading routes from the Channel Tunnel to the Midlands, Wales and Scotland, from South Wales and the South West to the South East and the Channel Tunnel and from Felixstowe and Southampton.

Railhub Archive ::: 1997-09-17 RTK-001


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