1. A big player for the UK economy
According to the Rail Freight Group, rail freight contributes £870m to the economy and plays a big part in reducing congestion and carbon emissions.
The overall freight tonnage carried by rail has declined gradually, from 175 million in 1973/74 to 138 million in 1986/87, falling to around 117 million in 2013/14.
The subsequent loss of most coal movements meant that in 2017/18 overall freight tonnage was recorded at some 75 million conveyed by an average of just over 600 freight trains a day, yet despite this decline, there is still much in the modern railway scene to interest the dedicated freight follower.