Intermodal leads the way as freight figures show Q2 upturn

REIGHT traffic increased slightly in the second quarter of 2017, once again led by growth in the construction and domestic intermodal sectors.

Increases in biomass and international traffic via the Channel Tunnel also contributed to the positive figures, but freight tonnages are still at their lowest level since records began in 1996/97.

DB Cargo experienced an 8% drop in freight train kilometres in the second quarter of 2017 – its lowest level. However, construction and domestic intermodal traffic continue to prosper. On a snowy December 8, 2017, DBC’s No. 66160 passes the site of Garsdale water troughs with 6E95, the Kirkby Thore to Hull empty gypsum wagons. JOHN LONGDEN

Total freight moved increased by 2%, to 4.3 billion tonne/km, compared with the same period in 2016/17. Construction volumes were up by 2% to 1.13bn tonne/km, while domestic intermodal traffic rose 1% to 1.72bn tonne/km.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) statistics for July-September 2017 cite “increased demand for materials for housing repair and maintenance” and “growth in the retail sector increasing demand for goods moved moved by railfreight” as the driving force behind the increases.

‘Other’ traffic, which includes biomass for power generation, rose by 23% compared to 2016/17, to 0.45bn tonne/km, while cross-channel traffic via the Channel Tunnel saw an encouraging increase to 0.12bn tonne/km during the period.

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