Freight on Rail

07 October 2014

Freight on Rail is a partnership between the rail trade unions, the rail freight industry and Campaign for Better Transport.

It is made up of ASLEF ; the RMT ; TSSA ; DB Schenker (Britain's leading rail freight operator) ; the Freightliner group (rail freight operator consisting of Freightliner Intermodal and Freightliner Heavy Haul) ; the rail freight operator Direct Rail Services (DRS) ; and Campaign for Better Transport (which campaigns for a more sustainable transport system).

Freight on Rail works to promote the economic, social and environmental benefits of rail freight both nationally and locally. It advocates policy changes that support the shift to rail and provides information on freight related issues.

Given current costs and uncertainty about energy sources, rail’s energy efficiency is noteworthy. Network Rail has calculated that a tonne of goods can travel 246 miles by rail as opposed to 88 miles by road on a gallon of fuel.

Freight on Rail aims to help local authorities through all the stages of the modal shift to rail such as planning a rail-freight strategy, accessing grants, understanding technical issues and obstacles and engaging with terminal operators, local business and the logistics industry.

Through ASLEF’s affiliation to Freight on Rail, the union has managed to have its voice heard across the political spectrum not only in Westminster and the UK but also across Europe. The campaign lobbies many MEPs on issues like megatrucks (which could enter the UK through European legislation despite the UK governement’s opposition to them) by hosting events such as receptions in the European Parliament detailing their dangers.

Whilst ASLEF is proudly independent of the Freight Operating Companies (FOCs) and always seeks to hold them to account for our members where needed, Freight On Rail is a forum in which we can jointly work with the FOCs to achieve a common goal of getting as much freight taken on our network as possible.

The Freight on Rail website provides industry news, views, clarification on new legislation, technical data and planning advice.


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