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Freight trains to ease road traffic

Work has started on a scheme to make 50,000 UK container freight journeys by rail instead of road.

Currently trains cannot easily carry the large modern containers used by global shipping firms, but Network Rail has begun a £71 million, 2-year project to develop a rail route from Southampton to Nuneaton and lessen the number of lorries on motorways.

The UK’s second largest deep-sea container station, DP World Southampton, is where huge numbers of electronics, food, metals, petroleum and aggregate products arrive in the country, often in 2.89m high-cube containers from the Far East.

To increase the number of trains moving goods containers, almost 50 sites along the route - which goes via Winchester, Basingstoke, Didcot, Oxford, Banbury, Leamington Spa and Warwick - will be widened over the next two years to allow high-cube containers through.

Transport minister Sadiq Khan said: “The government is investing £350 million in rail freight infrastructure - the most significant funding for many years - and this project is a key step towards the development of a strategic freight network in this country.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • Well,Well, Well; Why has it taken so long to realise that rail transportation of freight, can carry much greater and heavier loads more efficiently than road transport.

    Perhaps instead of a rail system dedicated to high speed for passengers, who do not need to be at their destinations, Bimingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh, so quickly.

    The expenditure £20 bn plus, and dedicated track needed for the High Speed Trains should be directed towards an efficient freight transport system. Which, if run properly would finance the passenger net work and accommodate passengers at lower prices, thus increasing the use of trains for everyone.
    Britain used to have a railway system which was able to move goods around the country in vast quantities, also the guards van has gone.
    For the foot passenger with extra luggage, which used to be carried in the guards van, at their point of departure and arrival, where are the porters of yesteryear. I have been told that due to the Health and Safety at Work act, they are not allowed to lift heavy cases.

    How about re-introducing a Motor Rail service to all regions, which would, if regulated properly and frequently, at sensible prices would reduce the number of cars on our roads.
    Is this not also freight?

    Do not just talk about change DO IT! Now, not tomorrow.


    Foot note: Why limit the UK container freight journeys to 50,000.

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