Unlike the UK, where the growth in rail freight seems only to be limited by network capacity, rail freight seems to be struggling in Germany. Statistics released on 17 February 2017 by the Federal Office show that, while the total volumes of freight grew in 2016, the portion transported by rail fell by 1.6 per cent.
In contrast, road freight volumes in Germany increased by 1.5 per cent. Dirk Flege, Managing Director of the Pro-Rail Alliance, said: “Rail freight transport is increasingly becoming a big worry for policy makers.
“With the publication of the official statistics, the federal government has today been given a painful reminder of where its HGV-friendly policies will lead. Germany’s policies on shifting transport mode are going the wrong way: from the railways onto the roads.”
On the other hand, consumer rail freight traffic in the UK has reached its highest level since 1998. According to the ORR’s Q2 2016-17 statistics for freight moved by rail, consumer intermodal traffic rose by 3.9 per cent and construction freight traffic increased by 8.3 per cent.