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First test on Crossrail freight line

GB Railfreight has operated the first test locomotive on a new freight line to be used by Crossrail for transferring millions of tonnes of excavated material from London to Northfleet, Kent.

A disused rail freight link was reinstated by Lafarge from the North Kent Main Line into their Northfleet site, with 4.75km of new track provided. Trains will be operated by GB Railfreight, with the first train due to run in summer 2012.

Excavated material generated from tunnelling operations for the western tunnels will exit at the Royal Oak Portal and be transported by freight train to Northfleet. From Northfleet, the material will be transferred by ship to regeneration sites, including a new RSPB nature reserve atWallaseaIsland,Essex. Up to five freight trains will operate from Westbourne Park on Mondays to Saturdays with up to four trains on Sundays.

Andy Mitchell, Crossrail programme director said: “The reinstated Northfleet rail link has been successfully commissioned with the operation of the first test locomotive by GB Railfreight. This new rail link will help us minimise lorry use in central London, as well as ensuring the efficient transfer of excavated material to sites where it can be best used for environmental improvement.”

John Smith, managing director, GB Railfreight said: “This is an important project for GBRf and our involvement demonstrates yet again that we have both the capability and resources to work on major projects and deliver an exceptional quality service.”

David Simms, Lafarge Cement’s land and planning director said: “Northfleet, until recently the location of the UK’s largest cement works, is a site with a long history of rail use and is key to the sustainable onward distribution of essential construction materials for the built environment.

“Our involvement with the Crossrail project marks the latest stage in our vision for the 104 acre Northfleet site and delivers on our commitment to sustainable regeneration.”

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Image c. Crossrail


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