Will an on-board off-peak parcel service increase the revenue?

On the 15 June at a Rail Engineers seminar the Minister said that UK had seen a “remarkable rise” in rail freight however also stated that the infrastructure had suffered from a lack of investment. Looking forward, the new government are determined that with new opportunities things will turn around to make the industry grow and become more profitable

Increasing the rail’s share of the Haulage market is bound to bring arguments due to the effect it will have on the environment. “The benefits from rail freight are clear, it can help reduce road congestion. It is significantly safer and less polluting than road haulage, and it is highly reliable. And thanks to work the Rail Delivery Group has undertaken, we now know the value of those benefits to the UK economy: some £1.6 billion every year. Forecast freight growth over the next five years is even greater than passenger growth in percentage terms, and the longer-term forecasts are equally strong.“

So over the next five years, the government wants to work with the rail freight industry to realise that growth. And to help remove the barriers that might inhibit it. “We have started as we mean to go on. The work that has already been done to provide gauge clearance on strategic routes, and to make room for longer freight trains, will help the industry improve its productivity and efficiency. Passenger airlines can earn extra revenue by carrying goods, so if passenger trains have off-peak services with very few passengers, why should they not make use of available space to offer a parcel service?”

The idea of launching a parcel service for passenger trains has been explored before, but not always with enthusiasm. Post& Parcel sent a tweet about Perry’s speech this morning, it drew the response: “Lordy! Back to the days of Red Star !” (Red Star Parcels was the parcel delivery service which the former state-owned rail company British Rail set up in 1963 and sold off in the late 1990s.)