£25m of funding is being granted by the Scottish government to enable rail freight to occur more frequently. The “ring-fenced funding” will contribute towards the five year plans to enhance Scottish rail freight.
According to sources, the fund is open to rail organisations across the sector, including Network Rail and Transport Scotland. Improvements to the railways can be scheduled, and proposals may include infrastructure upgrades concerning alternative aspects of rail freight, for example wagons or locomotives.
Michael Matheson, transport secretary, states: “We know that rail freight and modal shift to rail reduces road congestion, improves air quality, and reduces emissions.”
“Rail freight services are vital to sustainable economic growth across Scotland. This fund will support the development and delivery of strategic rail freight projects which improve capacity and capability. It aims to build on and complement our existing and future investment in Scotland’s railways.”
Paul McMahon, managing director of freight and national passenger operators at Network Rail, further explained:
“We understand that Network Rail is vital to supporting freight growth, but this will only be realised by working in partnership with the wider industry. That’s why, in April, we launched the Industry Plan for Freight Growth in Scotland and this will help us to achieve the ambitions set out in that plan.”