The Mineral Products Association (MPA) and the Rail Freight Group (RFG) have launched a new joint initiative – ‘A Commitment to the Future’. This outlines the key steps for development of rail freight logistics for the UK’s construction sector.
Every day, some 60 trains transport cement, sand, stone and other construction products around the UK. The construction industry’s use of the railway network has been on the up for the last decade, culminating in a record high in the last financial year. It has been estimated that the sector’s rail use will grow by approximately 2.5%/year as investment in infrastructure, and hence demand for construction products, continues. According to the MPA and RFG, coordinated action and investment will be required from the rail and construction industries in order to accommodate this growth. According to the two associations the key steps are:
1. Improve the sustainability of construction logistics by encouraging modal shift and enhancing the safety and environmental performance of rail operations.
2. Aim to achieve a 20% average increase in the payload per train within the next five years.
3. Support development of the rail network and terminals so that major routes can routinely accommodate trains of 450 m in length, with a 2000 t of payload.
4. Be responsible users of the network, working to improve performance, increase efficiency and optimise and safeguard network capacity.
5. Make rail freight the preferred solution for supplying major infrastructure schemes.