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  • Developing freight in Control Period 5

    Control Period 5 covers the five years 2014 to 2019

  • Proposed freight schemen for CP5 
    Click image for larger PDF version


    We want to see more freight removed from road onto rail to provide a faster, greener, safer, and more efficient and reliable way of transporting goods.

    We’re already making major improvements to the rail freight network, but more needs to be done. The industry wants this network to develop further through funding these schemes in Control Period 5 (CP5):

    Felixstowe – Nuneaton phase 2 

    • Enhance capacity to cater for freight and passenger growth on the Felixstowe to Nuneaton corridor - the potential scope includes signalling remodelling and double tracking schemes
    • Will allow freight traffic to be diverted from North London lines and Great Eastern Main Line freeing up the railway serving the capital

    Southampton – West Coast Main Line 

    • The potential scope includes a loop facility at Bordesley (Birmingham), diversionary capability and improvements in the Basingstoke area. These schemes will be part of the Electric Spine Development Programme

    Northern ports and trans-Pennine study 

    • Research into freight demand, capacity constraints and potential interventions for links to Northern ports and trans-Pennine routes
    • Identify the options and business case for trans-Pennine gauge and capacity enhancement

    Great Western Main Line gauge enhancements 

    • Gauge enhancement from Acton to Bristol and Cardiff to accommodate larger containers
    • Efficiencies gained from earlier enabling works by the Crossrail and GWML electrification projects
    • Works include bridge reconstructions, track lowering and slewing, modifications to platforms and canopies

    West Anglia gauge enhancement 

    • Potential gauge enhancement between London Gateway Port and Ely via Cambridge to W10-12 standard
    • If implemented the project would enable a gauge cleared diversionary route for both London to Yorkshire and Felixstowe to Peterborough traffic and provide additional routing options from London Gateway

    Other potential improvements being considered 

    • Humberside freight signalling enhancements
    • Access to the Port of Felixstowe

    What happens next?

    In October 2013 the Office of Rail Regulation’s Final Determination accepted the case for a Strategic Freight Network Fund in CP5.

    We’re continuing to work on the plans for these freight schemes and develop the smartest engineering solutions at the best possible price. We're working closely with a cross-industry consultative group to share information as it emerges and decide which elements of which schemes should proceed on a best value for money basis.

    Contact us

    Email for more information on the proposed schemes.

    Graphic showing the distance a tonne of goods can travel on a gallon of diesel. (1) 246 miles by rail (2) 88 miles by road
  • Key facts


    • Per tonne of cargo, rail freight produces 76% less carbon dioxide than road freight
    • This saves 1.8m tonnes of carbon in Britain every year – equivalent to that saved by more than 230,000 solar panels
    • Rail freight produces less than a 1/10 of the nitrogen oxide and fine particulates produced by road haulage per tonne carried


    • On average one freight train replaces 60 lorry journeys. Removing 10% of road freight would save British industry nearly £1bn per year
    • A gallon of fuel moves a tonne of goods 246 miles by rail but only 88 miles by road, on average
    • Road congestion costs the British economy up to £8bn every year


    • Lorries contribute to a disproportionate number of accidents per mile travelled; Department of Transport figures suggest that between 1999 and 2008 there were 117,000 accidents involving HGVs