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Railhub Archive
1998-06-04 ORR-001
Office of the Rail Regulator


Regulator's speech to Rail Freight '98

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Office of the Rail Regulator

Regulator's speech to Rail Freight '98

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4 June 1998
source Office of the Rail Regulator
type Speech (excerpt)

note ORR/98/20

Rail Regulator John Swift QC said today (Thursday) that the next few years are critical for rail freight, the current momentum created by structural change and new investment, and optimism in the market should be maintained and its benefits delivered.

Speaking at the Rail Freight 98 Conference in London he said that over the past year significant growth had been achieved by operators demonstrating faith in the future of railfreight by making major investments in locomotives, wagons, terminals, depots and other facilities.

He said: "The price of this success has been the emergence of a series of new and interesting challenges in terms of quality and quantity of track capacity available for freight and the standard of service provision.

"I expect Railtrack to develop proposals, in discussion with all relevant interests to enhance capacity and where timescales for doing this cannot meet short term requirements, then Railtrack needs to engage proactively with its customers to develop sensible alternative proposals on a no-discriminatory basis. For Railtrack, the 'House Full' sign is not an available option.

"EWS, Freightliner and DRS have managed to grow their business appreciably and to penetrate new markets. Despite this, some customers and industry groups remain concerned, and have told me, that more needs to be changed in terms of customers service.

"The effort being put into customer focused initiatives such as the EWS customer care facility which I saw in Doncaster last month and the Freightliner Service Resilience Initiative, which has resulted in a significant improvement in performance, is greatly encouraging, But the views that matter are those of the customers, and I look forward to hearing them.

"I intend to keep strong pressure on Railtrack to provide the necessary facilities for operators to grow the business, and a keen oversight of the operators to ensure that they deliver the service the nation expects of its freight railway."


The Rail Freight Conference is presented by the Rail Freight Group and organised by The Waterfront Conference Company. This is the Sixth Annual Conference and was held in the London Marriott Hotel.

Policy statements on rail freight are also contained in the Regulator's statement "Regulatory Objectives for Rail Freight Growth" published in May of this year.

Railhub Archive ::: 1998-06-04 ORR-001


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