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Network Rail gains control of UK freight sites

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Network Rail has taken over 105 leasehold sites from three of the UK’s biggest freight operators with the aim of improving competition in the sector.The acquisition process, which includes 87 sites from DB Schenker, 15 from Freightliner and three from GB Railfreight, was completed at the end of last month.

Paul McMahon, Network Rail freight director, said “This represents one of the biggest changes to the rail freight sector in this country in decades and is a bold strategic move by the industry. It will help drive continued rail freight growth, give customers greater transparency and equality in property arrangements, allow Network Rail to make more efficient use of the network and release capital for freight operating companies to invest in their operations.

“Consolidating the ownership and management of our key freight sites puts us in the best possible position to promote a more efficient and effective use of the rail network by freight traffic in coming years. It will also enable redundant land to be redeveloped and provide a valuable additional source of revenue for Network Rail as it delivers a bigger, better value railway for Britain.”