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GB Railfreight launches new service connecting Southampton to Hams Hall

Operator starts new intermodal service connecting Southampton to Hams Hall Rail Freight Terminal in the West Midlands with option to also connect to Scotland.

This is the first time that GBRf has run an intermodal service from the UK’s second-largest deep sea port to the West Midlands. GBRf will be running five trains a week from Southampton to Hams Hall with a further option to connect Southampton with Mossend International Rail Freight Terminal in Scotland, with final mile delivery available at both terminals.

For this service, GBRf is using its brand-new high-density FEA-G intermodal wagons (*pictured above), which will significantly increase the volume of cargo that can be transported on each journey.

The new train is part of DP World’s trial Modal Shift incentivisation programme for cargo owners to use rail within 140 miles of The Port of Southampton. It is hoped that the scheme will reduce 30,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year and remove thousands of lorries from the road network.

Schemes like this should also help the UK Government achieve its long-term freight growth target, to increase rail freight by at least 75% by 2050 and GBRf to run c.80 intermodal services a day by 2025.

Julie Garn, Head of Intermodal at GB Railfreight said: “This new service from Southampton to Hams Hall has been made possible by DP World’s Modal Shift programme 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.”

Mark Hooper, Director of Rail & Containers, Solent Stevedores said: “This is real positive news from GB Railfreight, giving customers the opportunity to utilise rail and support the Government’s targets for rail freight growth along with reducing carbon emissions which should be on everyone’s agenda. This new service also aligns with DP World’s Modal Shift Program where customers can take advantage of the incentive available as Hams Hall is within a 140-mile zone from the Port. With the recent official opening of our Solent Rail Terminal and the £17.5 million partnership investment between Associated British Ports (ABP) and Solent Stevedores, this is a major investment into the future of rail and reducing the reliance on HGV’s.”

John Trenchard, Vice President UK Commercial & Supply Chain at DP World, said: “The first six months of the Modal Shift Programme trial at our Southampton logistics hub has been a major success so far, with the share of freight units being moved by rail instead of road increasing by two thirds – from 21% to 35%. The success of the trial is proof that rail can be effectively utilised to achieve lower carbon international supply chains that better serve the UK economy and environment, and so we are delighted that the new Southampton-Hams Hall service will contribute to this.”

John Bailey, Managing Director – Intermodal at Maritime Transport said: ‘We are delighted to see GB Railfreight taking full advantage of Hams Hall’s strategic position on the logistics map with the introduction of this new service, connecting a major UK port with an important gateway to the West Midlands. Shifting freight to rail and reducing carbon emissions is a key part of our environmental strategy and this service paves the way for regional businesses to actively join us in this effort.”

*Photograph courtesy of GB Railfreight

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