Useful Facts and Figures
Rail freight has a key role to play in the low carbon economy as rail produces 70% less carbon dioxide emissions than the equivalent road journey and a gallon of diesel will carry a tonne of freight 246 miles by rail as opposed to 88 miles by road.
Value of Rail Freight to GB PLC
- The rail freight sector directly contributes £870 million to the UK economy and supports output of £5.9bn.
- The rail freight industry has achieved a 48% growth in tonne kilometres since 1994/95 with half the number of locomotives and two thirds of the wagons employed at that time.
- The benefits of rail freight fall outside the railway balance sheet but benefit the road network and the economy by removing or reducing;
- £772 million per annum in congestion costs
- £133 million per annum in road infrastructure costs
- £68 million per annum in CO2 costs
- Pro-rata 42 road deaths at a value of £78.8 million
- There has been over £1.5bn of private sector investment since 1996.
Rail freight is breaking out of its traditional markets into consumer business
Despite challenging economic conditions, rail freight continues to grow; the latest Office of Rail Regulation annual figures issued in June show that the total amount of freight moved in 2011-12 increased by 10% compared to 2010-11. This is the highest amount of total freight moved since 2007-08.
All commodities moved experienced an increase between 2010-11 and 2011-12, except Oil and Petroleum. Intermodal traffic moved increased by 11%, the 9th consecutive year of growth for consumer rail freight; it also increased its market share. Over 30% of commodities leaving Southern UK container ports are carried by rail. Additionally coal increased by 18% and construction materials by 8%.
There is significant suppressed demand for rail freight with forecasts predicting that rail freight overall will have doubled by 2030 with consumer rail freight growing 7.6% per annum during this period.
More than £1.5 billion private investment in locomotives, wagons, facilities and systems has taken place since 1995.
For more statistics go to the three separate sections on economic, safety and environmental arguments for rail freight.