Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Intermodal Freight Gets a Boost as New Rail Sidings Set to Open

Investment to Allow Growth and Cut Highway Pollution
Shipping News Feature

UK – Intermodal freight has to be a growth area for the country, with the transfer of long haul road cargo to rail at its heart, to allow the UK to meet its commitment to cut pollution on the highways. With this in mind GB Railfreight (GBRf) has invested in new intermodal sidings at its Peterborough site which are now set to commence operations.

GBRf says the doubling of track capacity has been essential to facilitate the growth of the intermodal sector and this is just the first of four phases of works to have been completed on this site. The company is looking to develop this site further by completing alterations to existing sidings and install additional infrastructure to provide improved access to the East Coast Main Line, allowing GBRf to further increase capacity.

Other works planned at the strategic location for rail traffic in the near future include a purpose-built wagon maintenance facility in order to support high levels of asset utilisation. The move will provide GB Railfreight with an improved and more efficient wagon maintenance capability along with improved facilities for their engineers to operate from.

As we reported just last week, to meet increasing demand for rail freight GBRf recently invested in new rolling stock and now says it is also expanding operations by investing in new offices and training facilities. The demolition of existing temporary office buildings and construction of a new building to house a control room, three classrooms, a board room and staff welfare facilities is under way. The training school will support GBRf’s state-of-the-art class 66 simulators, which were unveiled in 2019.

The new intermodal sidings at Peterborough, were completed by MLP Railway Maintenance Ltd whose contribution enabled GBRf to finish them ahead of schedule and also within budget. The company says this demonstrates its commitment to investing in the rail freight sector and the UK economy as a whole even at this time of uncertainty in light of the Covid-19 crisis. John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, added:

“I am absolutely delighted to be able to unveil the new intermodal sidings at Peterborough. The growth in Intermodal is demonstrative of GBRf’s commitment to leading the way in what is one of the biggest changes in the freight industry’s history, offering flexible and innovative door-to-door solutions that meet our customer’s needs.

“In 2019 GBRf delivered not only growth but also consumer choice in the market with a further four Intermodal services from major deep-sea UK ports, bringing the total to 17 Intermodal services. Despite the current disruption due to Covid-19 we are committed to delivering investment to support the growth of the rail freight sector, ensuring that rail freight can play its part in the economic recovery, driven by environmentally sustainable investment.”