Youngsters would be amazed at just how many smart ideas the Victorians actually had as the railways developed. For instance. Slip coaches. Once upon a time ( I forget when the last ran, before I was born) various long distance passenger services ran with one or more coaches modified with brakes controlled by a guard on the coach or set of coaches. And a remote coupling release mechanism. Passengers would be told that if they wished to alight at a particular intermediate station to sit in the appropriate coach well before the arrival time. The guard was specially trained in when and how to disengage the coach(es) a few mile before the station, control the braking so the coach stopped nicely in the station while the front of the train continued at speed to it's final destination. I believe the maximum number of sets of slip coaches on a train was 3, i.e 3 different intermediate stations served.
It's not entirely ridiculous to suggest something similar could be done with a freight train except for the considerable increase in staffing costs. Perhaps the process could be automated to save on extra staff. The slipped portion brakes as the train carries on. When the main portion is clear, points to the unloading siding can be flipped and the slipped portion rolls into there where the lorries can be unloaded at leisure.
When public railways first built, they weren't just common carriers, but actually had to allow travellers to use their own rolling stock. Eventually the acts of parliament that guaranteed that right to travellers were changed as it became too problematic to allow random wagons etc to use the railroad. Though for quite a while travellers were still allowed to take their horses and carriages onto railway wagons. Possibly more comfortable riding than in the provided accommodation.
Many railway companies built up sizeable fleets of, first horse drawn vehicles, and then motor vehicles to take goods from station to the customers address. Long before the containers that we now know, there were various designs of smaller containers, typically half a ton upwards, which were carried on railway wagons then specially designed road lorries, the fore runners of todays system.
World war II really broke the railways, they had actually started to struggle before which is why the government had compulsorily amalgamated or grouped them into the "Big Four" groups. After 1945 the system was worn out and road transport started to really eat away at the profitable business, all those ex service men who with their payout bought army surplus trucks and set themselves up as hauliers. The only really profitable freight sectors were the coal and growing oil. Railway couldn't deliver a single wagon load as cheaply as a man in a lorry.
That's why we ended up with a ICI engineer decimating the railways in the 60's. Aided and abetted by a road builder in the government... As health and safety legalisation, and labour costs are so much higher today, any proposal for a major modal shift in transport from road to rail has to find an innovative way to overcome those same economics that nearly saw the railways reduced to less than one fifth of it's size in 1982.
And you can bet your bottom dollar than the lorry drivers will be moaning like mad about any such scheme. Which is a bit illogical as a.) most don't like overnight trunking b.) there are increasing shortages of drivers and c.) it could mean more time to stick their feet up and better family life
edit. I didn't spot Bryn's contribution - least you know I didn't make it up