Network Rail says that more freight is now being transported across one of its busiest business regions than before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recent figures for the Eastern Region, which includes the East Midlands, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and the North East, as well as the East Coast Main Line from London to Scotland, shows 4,839 freight train movements in the latest reporting period, compared to 4,760 in the corresponding period for last year.
With each freight train taking on average 76 HGVs off the roads, this increase equates to around 6,000 fewer road journeys during that particular four-week period.
A new cargo terminal under development at Tinsley, near Sheffield
© Network Rail
The rising demand for rail freight across various industries has led to a number of positive developments in recent months.
This includes waste management specialists Biffa sending 350,000 tonnes of waste a year from a new facility to landfill by rail, while Ward Recycling are close to signing a deal to replace the 4,000 tonnes of domestic scrap metal previously taken from Stanton Gate in Derbyshire to Immingham by 200 lorries a week with a rail freight service.
In addition, the Sunderland Docks branch scrap metal service has re-opened due to rising demand, and disused rail marshalling yard at Tinsley, Yorkshire, is being redeveloped by Newell and Wright Transport into a fully functional intermodal cargo terminal.