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Author Topic: Network Rail, Highways England. Solent -> Midlands multimodal freight strategy  (Read 456 times)
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« on: July 08, 2021, 10:34:15 am »

I have put this in "Across the West as it relates to traffic going - across - the West!

From Network Rail Media Centre

Network Rail and Highways England publish first phase of the Solent to the Midlands multimodal freight strategy

Network Rail and Highways England have today published the first phase of the Solent to the Midlands Multimodal Freight Strategy. The strategy is the culmination of a year’s work between the two organisations and represents a further step forward in the collaboration between Highways England and Network Rail in multimodal strategic planning and other areas to better serve our customers.

This study forms part of Network Rail’s Long-Term Planning Process and Highways England’s Route Strategy and Pioneer Projects work, both of which are designed to identify investment priorities for the future. This closer approach to planning and increased involvement of stakeholders is vital to delivering the best results for our customers and funders.

Key findings include:

* Roads are critical to complete the door to door journeys for shorter distances, such as regional and local movements or the last mile from a rail freight interchange. Rail is most cost effective over longer distances and for higher loads.
* Rail and road both have similar reliability in terms of journey times, key for freight consumers where much freight is time dependent. 
* Modal shift to rail provides an opportunity to free up road capacity on the Solent to Midlands corridor, especially for those journeys that are greater than 50 miles and greater than 100 miles for bulk and consumer goods respectively.

Full (over 100 pages) report at and I have it mirrored for members ((here))

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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2021, 10:37:31 am »

Hardly the most surprising ‘key findings’, but good to see better collaboration going on.

To view my GWML (Great Western Main Line) Electrification cab video 'before and after' video comparison, as well as other videos of the new layout at Reading and 'before and after' comparisons of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see:
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2021, 11:42:34 am »

Hardly the most surprising ‘key findings’, but good to see better collaboration going on.

I was struck by this bit:
The analysis undertaken here has shown that the East Midlands is poorly connected to the Solent area and therefore there are many freight journeys made using road as rail is unavailable. The study has recognised the importance of the East West Rail programme in connecting the Solent area to the East Midlands and the distribution centres and warehouses situated there.

d) The East West Rail programme to consider the findings of this strategic study to understand the implications of using the East West Main Line for freight services originating or destined for the Solent ports

But there's a note of a next step (action) required for recommendation 2d:
To support the next steps, it is key that Network Rail engage with EWR Co who are developing the line between Bletchley to Cambridge to gain an insight into their plans for the Railway and understand how this will accommodate the Freight discussed in this document. Engaging directly with EWR Co is critical to closing out the recommendation and influencing the development- “The East West Rail programme to consider the findings of this strategic study to understand the implications of using the East West Main Line for freight services originating or destined for the Solent ports." - Agree approach to engagement with EWR Co. following this study.

That's a bit scary, procedurally. The inspector's report for EWR stage 2 said that questions about the route's availability for freight were answered by its being built (Oxford-Bletchley, at least) to W12 gauge. Nothing about it depending on what mood EWR Co are in that week.
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