‘Freight Belongs on Rail’ campaign gets major backing
With restrictions due to multiple worldly factors meaning certain services and productions can't take place at a reasonable pace due to supply issues, the use of freight rail is now more important than ever. As roads become ever-more crowded, moving goods by rail could help ease congestion and emissions from HGV movements each year. That's why DB Cargo is keen to help people realise the major contributions freight rail has to the UK economy.
The use of locomotives instead of HGVs, means that essential products can be safely and sustainably moved to and from mainland Europe and the UK. Being champions of the Freight Belongs on Rail campaign, DB Cargo now has the backing of one of the UK's leading producers of renewable energy, Drax Group, which operates sustainable biomass, hydro-electric and pumped hydro storage assets across four sites in England and Scotland. Plant director, Bruce Heppenstall, said: "Rail freight was a much safer and sustainable method of transporting the pellets than road, taking some 192,000 HGVs off the UK's already congested road network each year.
"We firmly believe that freight belongs on rail, and the more product that can be transported by rail the better. It is safer, more predictable and reliable than road. Anything that can be done to stretch the capacity of the network would be welcomed by Drax Group."Around seven and a half million tonne of biomass is used each year (Image: DB Cargo UK LTD)
The company has called for more capacity on the network and for rail freight to be given a higher priority when allocating train paths.
Drax Power Station near Selby, North Yorkshire, has invested heavily in rail freight, importing around 7.5 million tonnes of sustainable biomass pellets each year. READ MORE: DB Cargo UK and Groupe CAT launch new international services for Toyota DB Cargo is one of the UK's largest rail freight companies, and transports all types of freight throughout the UK.
From biomass to steel, the company has 228 diesel and electric trains helping transport goods across the country. DB Cargo UK currently operates around 60 trains per week - around 3,000 trains every year - into the site, carrying biomass pellets predominantly from Associated British Ports' site at Immingham. With the average train carrying the equivalent of 76 HGVs and generating around 75 per cent less harmful carbon emissions, the company claims it is a shining example of why the Government should redouble its efforts to encourage greater use of rail freight.
As people become increasingly aware of the impact emissions can have on the environment, the company is greatly expanding its sustainable practices through material and resource protection activities, and is working to considerably reduce rail noise. DB Cargo UK's chief sales officer, Roger Neary, said: "Drax Group produces 6 per cent of the UK's total energy needs and 17 per cent of its renewable electricity needs. "Every train that we operate in to Drax Power Station carries enough product to power a city the size of York for a day.
It's a vast operation and one we're very proud to be a part of. "Rail freight is already a well-established and important part of Drax's supply chain, which is growing year-by-year. What we need now is for the UK Government to truly recognise the value of rail freight by setting a target for modal shift that will drive further investment in the industry."
To find out more about the 'Freight Belongs on Rail' campaign, visit the DB Cargo website here.