Freight customers

Freight customers are those with a direct interest in rail freight, including purchasers of services and their representative bodies, but not the operators of the trains.

ORR's ambitions for the freight sector are grounded in our strategic objectives:

  • 'support a better service for customers' – use our powers to hold the industry to account for performance and standards of service across the railway network,
  • 'secure value for money from the railway, for users and funders' – strengthen incentives for the increased use of railway capacity, and more cost-effective investment in the network,
  • 'promote an increasingly dynamic and commercially sustainable sector' – support sustainable economic growth by promoting innovation and efficient long-term investment across the rail industry through the appropriate development of effective markets and regulatory intervention,

Freight customer track access contracts

Freight customer access contracts doc icon DOC, 1,227 Kb are also known as 3rd party freight access contracts.

  • These are model track access contracts between Network Rail and freight customers which are approved by ORR. They enable freight customers to hold their own track access rights, and provide flexibility for freight customers who wish to choose and easily change a freight operating company to haul their traffic.
  • On 6 November 2014 ORR presented at an event hosted by Network Rail and the Rail Freight Group. This seminar pdf icon PDF, 200 Kb was an open forum to discuss how freight customers can hold track access rights and the benefits of such an approach.
  • Our criteria and procedures for the approval of track access contracts here pdf icon PDF, 1,495 Kb

Freight customer event

We held our freight customer event in October 2014, which was attended by a broad range of freight customers.

We held our second annual freight customer event on Friday 20 November.

Freight customer panel

The freight customer panel will help to ensure that our policies and regulatory decisions take into account the commercial environment that freight customers work within. The freight customer panel is part of our wider commitment to engage directly with freight customers.

Freight panel members

Chris MacRae

Chris MacRae is the Rail Freight Policy Manager at the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and is responsible for UK and European rail freight and associated modal shift policy work. He is the secretary of FTA's Rail Freight Council that brings together their rail freight customer, rail freight operator, intermodal logistics service provider members and other associated members, such as Network Rail and Wagon builders etc. He represents FTA with DfT, ORR, Transport Scotland and other external stakeholders. He is also FTA's Head of Policy in Scotland (covering all modes of transport).

Chris Swan

Chris Swan is the Senior Manager of Rail & Shipping at LafargeTarmac and his role is to design and deliver their Rail Strategy. The role oversees the rail operations for Lafarge Tarmac - both for aggregates and cement business units, improving the day to day rail operation and also ensuring that LafargeTarmac participate actively in the wider rail freight sector.

David Turner

David Turner is the Director of Rail at WH Malcolm Limited, formerly of P&O Nedlloyd and Roadways Container Logistics. He has twelve years' experience in terminal operations including regulatory access and intermodal logistics.

Maggie Simpson

Maggie Simpson is Executive Director at the Rail Freight Group, the representative body for rail freight in the UK. As a member led trade association, Rail Freight Group's aim is to increase the volume of goods moved by rail, by ensuring that the policy environment for railways supports freight, and by helping member companies to increase their rail freight businesses.

Martin Woor

Martin Woor joined the Port of Felixstowe in 1989 as a graduate trainee and has worked in numerous areas of the port business to include container, roro, warehousing and general cargo activities. His current role within Hutchison Ports (UK) which encompasses the ports of Felixstowe, London Thamesport and Harwich International, is to promote and develop HPUK rail activity. In particular, Martin manages external relationships within the intermodal rail industry and manages the commercial relationship with the Freight Operating Companies.

Paul Garnham

Paul Garnham is the General Manager Intermodal at Mediterranean Shipping Company UK (MSCUK) and has responsibility for their road and rail product, which consists of over 500 contract trucks and four contract trains performing in excess of 1200 loads per day.

Robert Brook

Robert Brook is Managing Director of VTG Rail UK, the UK's largest private full service freight wagon lessor with 2,000 wagons, managing a team of 15 covering Sales, Operations, Engineering, Commercial and Finance. VTG's wagons cover the majority of railfreight segments: Coal & Biomass, Cement, Sand & Aggregates, Petroleum products, Containerised goods, Steel Coils, Infrastructure, Scrap metal. Their customers include the FOCs and most of the key railfreight users. Robert is also a member of the Management Committee of VTG's European Wagon Hire Division, which has 80,000 wagons.

Simon Blake

Simon Blake is the General Manager of Rail for Aggregate Industries, a major construction materials supplier. His duties include providing safe, reliable, and cost effective rail services from a number of rail served aggregate sources (primarily located in the East Midlands) to permanent aggregate receiving depots for the supply of asphalt, concrete and aggregate products and to establish further temporary / project based rail solutions for Aggregate Industries. Simon is involved with all Aggregate Industries rail related activities from track work to shunt engines, estates management to accounts and Parish Council to ORR.