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Rail freight in Scotland in disarray

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A recent report explains that the rail freight business in Scotland is in a worse state than in other parts of Britain. It was previously heavily dependent on the delivery of coal to Longannet and Cockenzie power stations, both of which is now closed.

Coal represented 40% of freight operations. The report sets out a plan for the recovery of freight. The aim is to grow freight business by 7.5% each year, by making it easier for new haulage customers to use rail.

Alex Hynes, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance, said:

“Securing and retaining rail freight traffic in Scotland will be more challenging than anywhere else in the UK. The faster than anticipated decline in what was Scotland’s bedrock for rail freight, coal, resulted in a reduction of over 40% of freight moved to, from and within Scotland.

“This has radically changed the face of rail freight in Scotland from a buoyant industry to one that will require a period of recovery and support to build up new and sustainable markets.”