Consultation launched over reform of rail freight property

Posted: 30 October 2012 | | No comments yet

Network Rail launched an industry consultation aimed at reforming the management and ownership of rail freight property…

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Network Rail, the owner and operator of the national rail network, has today launched an industry consultation aimed at reforming the management and ownership of rail freight property.

The consultation outlines the proposed transfer of the majority of DB Schenker Rail UK’s 250 property interests across the rail network to Network Rail. In doing so, the intention is to:

  • Promote freight network capacity on the railway and enable improved timekeeping for freight trains, making the railway a more attractive option for freight traffic
  • Facilitate competition between rail freight operators by making a number of key sites more accessible
  • Allow Network Rail to introduce around a dozen strategic staging yard locations across the network – the motorway service stations of the rail network
  • Identify surplus brownfield land that has the potential to be promoted for economic regeneration

The consultation, accessible from the Network Rail website:, opened on 29 October 2012 and will close on 28 November 2012. All interested parties are invited to provide their views on the proposals.

Tim Robinson, director of freight for Network Rail, said: “These proposals represent the biggest change in rail freight for decades. If implemented, they will meet objectives of the McNulty report and the Office of Rail Regulation’s market sudy into rail freight by enhancing open access, and promoting a more efficient and effective use of the railway network by freight traffic in coming years, as well as enabling redundant land to be redeveloped.”

Alain Thauvette, chief executive of DB Schenker Rail UK, said: “By transferring the majority of our property interests to Network Rail, we will modernise the rail freight industry. This is a progressive proposal and is good news for all users of freight trains and the entire rail freight industry. This will allow DB Schenker Rail UK to invest in new terminals and rail freight facilities, increasing the volume of freight moved by rail. Our direct competition is with road haulage, and these reforms enable the rail freight industry to compete more effectively to secure modal shift to the railway and reduce carbon emissions in the process.”

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