Freightliner, a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W), welcomes the new report on the role and value of rail freight in the UK, published by the Rail Delivery Group and based on independent research by Deloitte.
The report calculates that rail freight delivers £2.5billion in economic and social benefits to the UK economy annually, with the highest benefits in the north of England, Wales and Scotland. The research develops a new model to calculate the economic and environmental benefits of slots on the network to timetable freight trains. For example, an intermodal train travelling 200 miles contributes around £1.5 million per year in benefits to the UK economy. The ability to calculate the benefits of running more freight trains on the UK rail network could support future decisions about how rail capacity is allocated.
In response to the publication of the report, Eddie Aston, Chief Executive Officer for G&W’s UK/Europe Region companies said: “I am delighted to see this fresh research undertaken by Deloitte on behalf of the Rail Delivery Group. The significant economic and environmental benefits that the rail freight sector contributes to UK society are clear from this report, and I am excited to be working in a sector that has a huge part to play in growing the economy.
“In my previous roles, I have observed at first hand the many benefits that using rail brings to the logistics sector, including high reliability, improved safety and reduced congestion on the road network. I am pleased that this new piece of work enables the real economic benefit of rail freight to be calculated for the first time and provides valuable data to better inform decisions around the best use of the rail network.
“Freightliner places a huge focus on decarbonisation which is at the heart of our strategic focus. We are leading the way in exploring, developing and delivering innovative solutions to reduce our carbon footprint even further, including reductions in loco idling times, longer trains, locomotive upgrades and a hydrated vegetable oil trial.
“As the largest freight operator of electric locomotives in the UK, we are seeking to deploy electric traction over more routes, to further reduce emissions. I am ambitious to see these and other initiatives being rolled out so we can achieve an even greater contribution to the government’s commitment to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.”
Photo credit: iStockphoto.com – querbeet