As a former rail driver I am mystified about her point that 'miles of 'light' running are done to pick up trains, or to return a driver home at the end of his shift'. The reason for the prevalence of light loco running is the sparsity of traffic. Locomotives cannot materialise on the front of a train from nowhere.
Rail freight is compelled under the sectorisation system within BR to pay high track-use costs to other sectors. These cost problems are the overriding component in rail freights' costs, where typically track costs represent 48 per cent of total costs. Private lorry operators pay 4 per cent of the cost of the infrastructure they use. Selective use of productivity data and axioms about the efficiency of the market consistently ignore these key facts.
Penilee, GlasgowReuse content