Royal Mail will stop using trains to transport cargo

Royal Mail will stop using trains to transport cargo, starting this October, in favour of road deliveries, according to a letter sent by DB Cargo UK CEO.

Credit: The Basingstoker / Wikipedia.

In a letter to staff, DB Cargo UK CEO Andrea Rossi spoke of the company’s “profound disappointment” at the decision, which he said was a U-turn on Royal Mail’s previous commitment to increase the use of rail freight to meet Net Zero targets.

Rossi pointed out that the decision was not caused by any performance issues, but it did raise concerns for both DB Cargo and the wider rail freight industry.

For the past 11 years, DB Cargo UK has been in charge of operating and maintaining Royal Mail’s 15-strong fleet of Class 325 electric trains.

“Royal Mail has made it clear that its decision is purely down to the increasing costs of electric traction (EC4T) and the high investment needs of its ageing 325 fleet,” Rossi wrote, adding: “This is not a decision against DB Cargo UK but one against the economics of rail freight as a mode of transport.

“As a result, we will now be seeking urgent talks with the new Labour Government, policymakers and other key industry stakeholders, to see what more can be done to level the playing field between rail freight and the heavily subsidised road haulage sector. For some time now we have been lobbying Government to address the issue of high EC4T charges which are beyond the price many of our customers can afford to pay – indeed this is why we ourselves had to take the difficult decision to withdraw our Class 90s,” Rossi continued.

Royal Mail’s decision to discontinue its freight trains marks the end of its 194-year relationship with Britain’s railways. The tracks were first used for mail in 1830.

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