A huge thank you to everyone who joined us on Wednesday 6 December for our annual RFG Xmas Lunch. It was great to see so many of our members and their guests attend, having fun, catching up and celebrating another year of challenge and success in the rail freight sector.
We were delighted to welcome Rail Minister Huw Merriman MP as our guest of honour. He spoke about the coming rail freight growth targets, which will be published shortly, and the success of rail freight in helping build HS2 Phase 1. We appreciated that he took the time to speak with members and stayed throughout the event.
On the day, more than 800 members and guests, some coming from as far as South Africa, helped us raise a record £6,700 for our chosen charity the Railway Benefit Fund. A massive thank you to everyone who donated by buying tickets for our champagne raffle or by the many charity buckets that came around the room. A gallery of photos of the day is available here, please feel free to download and use any that you wish in your communications.
Speaking on the day, RFG Director General Maggie Simpson OBE said: “This year has had many challenges, both in the railway and the UK economy but, as always, rail freight has shown its resilience, flexibility and determination, and we end the year ahead of last, and with real progress in growing volumes and also in developing and modernising the sector. So a huge thank you to all of you who have worked to deliver success over the year. In particular, I would like to thank those of you who have used your buying power and influence to encourage other businesses to use rail. And those of you working to implement new innovation and digital technology into rail freight.
“Thank you also to everyone working to make freight a more diverse sector, to encourage the younger generations and to improve working conditions. To everyone working to improve biodiversity in our land estate, focusing on sustainability and social value and of course on the key imperative of reducing carbon emissions from our operations. And because we are nothing if trains do not run, thank you to all those who are working to make train services more productive, to find better and more paths on the network, and to deliver a service that makes customers happy. Despite the challenges, because of you, our future is bright,” she added.