FTA members shift more than 90% of all UK rail freight. Factors such as a low environmental impact, growth in intermodal movements and network improvements mean that rail freight is set to play a bigger role in the future movement of goods in the UK and internationally. It’s against this backdrop that FTA lobbies for regulatory reform and works to support members tackle key challenges presented by radically changing demand patterns, network capacity, network access, and the constant pressure to drive down costs. 

Helping rail freight deliver

Network Rail has targeted a 30% increase in rail freight capacity between 2016-19. Meanwhile, FTA members are dealing with challenging market conditions: the effective loss of the coal freight market, and more recently the impact of online shopping and demand for next day, localised delivery.

These are just two of the reasons behind our support for a focus on innovation and the adoption of new technologies. FTA is also calling for the regulator to improve network efficiency for faster and bigger trains, 7-day operating, and bigger and better terminals with reduced access fees.       

Rail freight operators are pursuing opportunities emerging from the construction industry, automotive sector, the rapidly developing biomass industry and the fast-growing intermodal sector. Increasingly customers are taking a ‘total supply chain’ view, identifying rail as a cost effective environmentally friendly option. FTA is front and centre of all these developments, lobbying on members behalf and feeding back relevant and timely information.  

View Advice

Helping Rail Deliver

Optimisation of the performance of all modes of transport is a key FTA objective. We have updated our policy advice about how the performance of rail in the multimodal supply chain may be optimised so that it continues to grow by delivering for its customers.


Agenda for more freight by rail

The FTA rail freight agenda has been developed by existing and potential rail freight customers who very clearly identify what needs to be delivered if the desired 30% capacity growth is to be achieved.  


Making Use of Rail

FTA has produced a guide to making use of rail for shipper's that highlights the cost, reliability and environmental benefits this may make to your logistics chain. FTA has also produced a series of case studies that illustrate how retailers have opted for rail freight.


Rail Freight Council

Members of FTA can join the Rail Freight Council, which focuses on the latest issues, industry developments and topics affecting freight movement by rail. The Rail Freight Council sets FTA policy and campaigns for rail freight and ensures members are fully involved with government affairs and regulation in this sector.


Rail Campaigns