Since the start of the pandemic passenger numbers have fallen, and do not look set to recover. This has meant that the passenger time table has been curtailed.
This has meant there are more rail freight paths available for Freight Operating Companies (FOCs) As a result rail freight is experiencing one of the most punctual years in modern history. The FOCs are also able to run longer trains as there are less conflicts with passenger services.
The opportunity: This could be used to accelerate a modal shift from road haulage, to rail haulage for freight. The consequences of the pandemic present a perfect opportunity to encourage rail freight usage No longer will a shipment be delayed because a freight train has to make room for a late running express, or overcrowded regional service. We can now build on this opportunity.