Research Output
The role of logistical structure in the development of rail freight services in Great Britain.
  Modal shift from road to rail for freight movements is a potential means by which
the negative environmental and social impacts of such transport can be reduced. As
such it features strongly in contemporary transport policies in Great Britain. This
thesis examines the interactions between logistical structure and freight modal
choice, to determine the extent to which rail's mode share is likely to be increased.
The research assesses the influence of recent logistical changes both within
companies and along supply chains on mode choice and identifies the likelihood of
future changes resulting in greater rail usage. A combined approach involving a postal questionnaire survey and in-depth company interviews was adopted. Further,
to consider the interactions between the supply of rail freight services and their level
of uptake, original databases of rail freight services at the disaggregated level have
been constructed and analysed for the years 1991, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000.
The research thus provides a greater understanding of the importance of modal
choice in individual firms' logistical decision-making processes, as well as through
supply chains from source to customer. Key logistical issues that have affected, and
are likely to affect, mode choice are identified and utilised to assess the potential for rail. Significant potential for modal shift is found to exist though many obstacles
are also identified for many types of movement, relating to both supply- and demand-side factors. The importance of a coherent transport policy to deal with
these obstacles to allow rail freight to meet its potential is highlighted.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 September 2000

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    HE Transportation and Communications

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    385 Railroad transportation


Woodburn, A. G. The role of logistical structure in the development of rail freight services in Great Britain. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from



Freight movement; road transport; rail; environment; transport policy; logistical structure;

Monthly Views:

Available Documents