North Wales opens new rail freight route. Each train removes approximately 76 lorries from the roads.

Karel Novak, Published on 29/08/2022
North Wales opens new rail freight route. Each train removes approximately 76 lorries from the roads.

Welsh slate aggregate is being transported to Luton via rail freight for the first time, thanks to a joint initiative between Network Rail, construction materials company Breedon, and the Welsh Government.

The Llandudno Junction freight yard, which hadn’t been used for several years, was brought back to life following extensive work at the site. Vegetation removal, track repairs, and refurbishment of the points – which allow trains to swap between tracks – have enabled trains to enter and leave the yard.

Collaboration between the state and commercial sphere is appreciated by John Smith, chief executive officer at GB Railfreight: "It is encouraging to see the Government and the private sector come together to enable a service that will transport key construction materials, create employment opportunities and drive local growth.

The first freight train to leave Llandudno Junction freight yard departed in July, carrying 22 wagons filled with slate aggregate from local quarries for the journey to Luton in southeast England. Each freight train removes approximately 76 lorries from the roads, reducing carbon emissions and congestion while making the air we breathe cleaner.

Jess Lippett, senior regional freight manager at Network Rail said: “Rail freight is a vital part of our infrastructure, providing a fast, green, safe, and efficient way of transporting goods.

The Welsh Government has provided match funding to Breedon Group for the enhancements at Llandudno Junction freight sidings via the Freight Facilities Grant scheme. The scheme is available to encourage modal shift where there are environmental benefits from removing HGVs from roads across Wales – up to 250,000 tonnes of slate waste aggregates are expected to be moved by rail each year from the site.



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