In October 2016 the company announced proposals to reduce its workforce by 893 staff, including 391 drivers, after a rapid decline in the core coal market.

However, CEO of DB Cargo UK, Mr Hans-Georg Werner says “there is a strong future for rail freight in the UK because it offers benefits that its competitors - mainly road - cannot,” and although the coal sector is struggling, other markets including aggregates and steel remain strong.

“We will now move forward with our plans to lead the next generation of rail freight which includes key investments such as new wagons, terminal enhancements and combining our core function of delivering goods by rail with bespoke in-house IT solutions, to give our customers the best service and make it easy for them to do business with us,” says Werner.