NORRIS WASTE Management has opened a new rail hub at its Greenwich Peninsula facility in south east London. The company has worked in partnership with Biffa and GB Railfreight on the project, creating what it says is the only hub of its kind south of the river Thames.

Finally, there needs to be ongoing research into shorter-term options to improve emissions for the existing fleet over its remaining life, keeping pace with road, and looking at other options which help demonstrate sustainability. Start-stop technology is being fitted to turn off engines when idling, and operators are already looking at other initiatives. Some ports and terminals are looking at what can be achieved with handling equipment and other diesel emitters, and there are projects underway to better measure rail’s environmental advantages, supporting the case for continued investment.

Replacing diesel is not unique to rail, nor to freight, but it is a real challenge for heavy duty modes. Responding to this will be important over the coming decades for all transport users.

An opinion column of the Rail Freight Group,

Candidate for electrification? Freightliner loco No 70005 passes Narborough on 31 January 2018 with the 4M81 Felixstowe to Crewe container train. Paul Biggs