Rail freight

14.08.18

Peak District freight sidings get £18m Network Rail boost

An £18m rail investment in the Peak District will come as good news for the construction industry, benefitting the environment, economy and regional road network, Network Rail has said.

As part of the Great North Project, the investment will go towards lengthening freight sidings in Buxton and will allow longer freight trains to operate across the network, which transports construction materials for quarries to destinations across the country.

Extending the tracks by 430m will allow freight trains to increase their number of wagons from 18 to 26, meaning up to 2,500 tonnes of materials could be transported by each train – thus providing an economic boost for local quarries and future national construction projects.

Longer trains will also help the environment as each freight train takes 76 lorries off the road and each tonne of freight transported by rail reduces carbon emissions by 76%. According to Campaign for Better Transport, switching from lorries to freight trains could cut air pollution by 10%.

James Dean, chief operation officer at Network Rail, stressed the importance of lengthening the “well-used sidings, so that freight trains can load at Buxton in the future.”

He added: “This project is also good news for the environment, as it will help remove more lorries from our roads across the region and beyond, removing congestion and reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.”

The 430m extension runs through a former council-run waste facility and farmland which will be made safe and landscaped using the clay material dug up from the farmland. While clearing the area workers found tyres and a car from the 1970s buried at the site.

Almost 2,000m of drainage will be built to ensure the sidings can cope with heavy rainfall. The existing public footbridge will also be extended and better lighting will be fitted to limit light pollution for nearby residents.

Site clearing and drainage work is expected to finish in autumn, with railway construction beginning in November. The new sidings will be operational in April 2019.

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Image credit: Network Rail 

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