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The nature of the rail freight industry requires freight trains to travel long distances across the national network, following routes that are only partially electrified and often serving terminals which can only be accessed by diesel locomotives.
Transport for London (TfL) has worked closely with the industry for many years through the Strategic Freight Network, and has recently become a member of Network Rail’s new London Rail Freight Strategy working group, which will report back next year. Through this, TfL will argue for investment in ‘infill’ electrification - linking routes which are already electrified - to allow more services to switch from diesel to electric traction. TfL will also advocate the introduction of bi-mode freight locomotives, which can operate under electric power where available, and switch to diesel if necessary into and out of freight terminals.