An odd thing to be using here as evidence that lots of money must be spent on the rail network:
Trains in parts of northern England run at “painfully slow” speeds barely quicker than a horse and cart because of congestion, research has found.
A study published today says that improvements to the network simply cannot wait for the construction of new high-speed lines in 20 years’ time.
It says that freight trains in the north travel at average speeds of 16mph on major east-west lines, with a knock-on impact on passenger services.
The knock on effect – whatever it is – might matter but the speed of the freight doesn’t. Freight transport is a matter of cost, not time. People transport is a matter of speed as the time of people is valuable. Whether it takes 1 hour or 30 to get a train of coal to somewhere doesn’t matter. The capital cost – the interest that has to be paid on the greater stock in movement – is trivial.
Freight train speeds just aren’t important:
Average journey times for Transpennine freight are as low as 16mph and 17mph.
We don’t care and it’s not worth spending money upon.