Rail opportunity

IT DOESN’T have to be the case that “thousands of extra lorries will pound Scotland’s roads next year” because new pollution controls will force up prices on freight shipping services from Rosyth and Grangemouth to the continent (your report, 12 May).

Rail – a safer and more sustainable alternative to road haulage – has long been a key player for Scottish exports, with daily container train services from Coatbridge Freightliner Terminal linking to the big five “Deep Sea” ports at Felixstowe, Liverpool, Southampton, Thames Gateway and Tilbury. With marine fuel costs soaring, rail needs to gear up for an even bigger role.

For the European market, the recent news that Eurotunnel is to slash the cost of sending international freight trains through the Channel Tunnel raises the prospect of the Mossend EuroCentral railhead finally realising its potential as a key hub for Scottish exports.

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David Spaven

Scottish representative

Rail Freight Group