GB Railfreight launches intermodal rail service from Southampton to West Midlands

GB Railfreight launches intermodal rail service from Southampton to West Midlands

The service, which will run five trains a week, will enhance the logistics network by supporting the movement of goods from the south coast deep into the heart of the UK.

GB Railfreight (GBRf) has launched a new intermodal rail service connecting Southampton, the UK's second-largest deep-sea port, with Hams Hall Rail Freight Terminal in the West Midlands. The new route is GBRf's first direct intermodal service to the region and aims to strengthen the logistics and transport links between the south coast and central parts of the UK.

The service will operate five trains per week, with an additional service planned from Southampton to Mossend International Rail Freight Terminal in Scotland. This expansion will be facilitated by GBRf's investment in new high-density FEA-G intermodal wagons, designed to increase the volume of freight per journey, thereby improving the efficiency of freight transport. The service also ties in with recent infrastructure investments, such as the official opening of the Solent Rail Terminal and a £17.5 million partnership investment by Associated British Ports and Solent Stevedores. 

This initiative is part of DP World’s Modal Shift incentivisation programme, which encourages cargo owners to switch from road to rail for shipments within 140 miles of the Port of Southampton. The program is expected to save 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per day and significantly reduce the number of lorries on UK roads. This supports the UK government's freight strategy to increase rail freight by at least 75% by 2050 and GBRf's target to operate around 80 intermodal services daily by 2025.

Julie Garn, Head of Intermodal at GB Railfreight, emphasized the environmental and operational benefits of the new route, stating, “This new service from Southampton to Hams Hall has been made possible by DP World’s Modal Shift program and the new investment made at Solent Rail Terminal. Flagship initiatives like this help harness the benefits of rail freight allowing Britain’s supply chains to move goods more sustainably, efficiently and reliably.”

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