FREIGHT train movements in the UK dropped to 224,000 in 2016/17, a reduction of 5% over the previous year.
A 39% collapse in coal traffic, a result of stricter carbon emissions targets and the closure of coal-fired power stations, is the major factor behind the decrease.
In 2016/17, the total amount of freight lifted in Great Britain fell to 79.4 million tonnes, the lowest since 1984/85 – an 8% decrease on 2015/16 – and just over half the total recorded by BR’s Railfreight sector in 1988/89 (149.5 million tonnes).
The total volume of rail freight moved fell to 17.2 billion net tonne kilometres in 2016/17, a 3% reduction on 2015/16, and the lowest since the late-1990s, but the total amount of freight lifted in 2016/17 dropped by 8% to 79.4 million tonnes – the lowest value recorded since 1984/85.
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