Rail freight activity in Britain has increased by almost 50% in the last ten years, with the movement of deep sea ISO containers between ports and inland terminals being a significant growth sector, with considerable further growth potential. High cube ISO containers have become more prevalent, posing a considerable challenge for rail freight operators since much of the rail network has insufficient loading gauge clearance to carry them on standard wagons. This paper investigates the extent to which rail currently handles high cube container movements to/from ports through the analysis of a representative survey of container trains in 2007. The incidence of high cube containers carried by services on gauge-cleared and non-gauge-cleared routes is identified to assess the extent to which a lack of gauge enhancement affects the movement by rail of high cube containers and to identify the impacts of the lack of gauge clearance on operating efficiency. The paper concludes with an evaluation of the likely consequences of the gauge enhancement schemes for which funding is now committed, assessing the extent to which they will reduce or remove the barriers associated with carrying high cube containers between ports and their hinterlands.