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I often find myself in disagreement with Chris Stokes, but his piece about rail freight in the December issue (p98) is spot on. Although modern freight trains are capable of good speeds, their average speed is disgracefully slow, not much above 20mph. The summer before last I travelled the whole distance from Felixstowe to Nuneaton in the cab of a freight train and the journey was a strain on my patience, my back and my bladder. Six and a half hours, including 55 minutes Waiting Line Clear at Ipswich and delays along the whole route, including at Ely and through Leicester.

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