Network Rail has announced that it’s key workers enable millions of tonnes of freight including, food and drink to be transported around the UK during the Coronavirus crisis. This including 400,000 tonnes of freight which is moved by rail across Yorkshire.
A reduced timetable was introduced in March so that a reliable service would remain in operation to get key workers to work.
There are ten services per week which run overnight through Yorkshire on the East Coast Main Line.
The freight being transported across Yorkshire includes:
- Around 100,000 tonnes of supplies, including food for supermarkets and medication.
- Around 12,000 tonnes of petroleum fuel, to make sure petrol is available at the pumps.
- 150,000 tonnes of sustainable biomass to keep Drax Power Station running so it can continue to supply the electricity that millions of UK homes and businesses rely on.
- 50,000 tonnes of materials and finished products for the steel industry. Most of this is transported via freight from South Yorkshire to Scunthorpe and supports the wider economy.
Materials including sand, gravel and stone are also transported across the region via rail.
It has been possible to meet this demand thanks to the dedication of Network Rail teams who have continued to work throughout the pandemic.
What did the officials say?
Kevin Newman, Senior Route Freight Manager for Network Rail, said:
“The railway plays a crucial part in keeping Britain running, particularly in these challenging times. Our teams are working hard to keep lines open for key workers, enabling vital freight services to run to keep shelves stocked and deliver vital medical equipment and to keep power stations going.
“We’ve been able to meet the demand thanks to the dedication of our key workers at Network Rail who have continued to keep services moving, and with the help of passengers who have followed government advice to only travel when it is essential.
“We are continuing to work closely with the government and transport partners to keep the railways open and keep Britain moving.”
Andy Koss, Drax CEO Generation, said:
“Our teams at Drax Power Station are working around the clock to make sure we can continue to generate the power the country needs. The power station is the UK’s largest, generating enough electricity for six million households, so it’s critical that we continue to receive the vital supplies of sustainable biomass we need – especially during the Covid-19 emergency.
“We are working very closely with the teams at Network Rail and others in our supply chains, who are playing an important part in keeping the lights on.”
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