Vision from 2050

Most countries have a comprehensive rail freight network. Freight travels from its point of production or entry into the country by rail to freight interchanges, where the containers or their contents are placed on lorries and vans for final distribution.

The high-speed railways carry both passengers and freight. New freight lines have been opened, and lines with speed, weight or other restrictions have been improved. Together they form a coherent network that serves rail freight interchanges throughout the country and does not generally interfere with the passenger services, allowing goods to be carried by rail for the major part of their journey.

Where railways are only two-track passengers have priority on the inter-town routes, and freight movements take place during the small hours.

The introduction of RailTaxi technology means that rail is used to distribute smaller packages of goods close to their final destination.

Railfreight distribution and maintenance is a major source of employment in New Green Towns and was a major economic driver when they were established.

Rail freight interchanges

Strategic rail freight interchanges (SRFIs) are often located in New Green Towns, where they provided employment rom the town's inception. SFRI's require both road and rail access. With the advent of ConnectedCities, several of the new green quarters and new green towns in the South East provided sites for SRFIs.

SRFIs in new green towns tend to have around 2000 employees. This makes the SRFI the major employer in the town without dominating the town. In size, SRFIs tend to be around 200 hectares, but only about 35 hectares is generally within the pedshed, so there is plenty of room for other development.

Diagram showing approximate size of SRFI in relationship to a pedshed.