Construction is underway to produce the connection for the 35-acre strategic rail freight interchange (SRFI), the latest project at the SEGRO Logistics Park Northampton Gateway.
Works over the next few weeks will largely focus on earthworks, including stripping the topsoil for the rail connection, freight terminal, building plateaus, estate roads and the 170-metre reinforced concrete tunnel that will screen trains departing the terminal.
An investment of around £190m has been made into infrastructure as part of the development, which includes the new SFRI and improvements to the surrounding road network.
The infrastructure improvements are being delivered in partnership with Highways England, Network Rail and local authorities, and are set to finish by the end of 2023.
An intermodal SRFI has also successfully been incorporated at SEGRO Logistics Park East Midlands Gateway near Castle Donnington. It can accommodate up to 26 freight trains a day and offers direct access to the UK’s SRFI network, as well as major UK ports such as Southampton, London Gateway Felixstowe, and the Channel Tunnel.
Managing Director of National Logistics at SEGRO, Andrew Pilsworth, said: “The World Economic Forum estimates that nearly a quarter of the UK’s population is expected to permanently change the way they shop following the pandemic and it is thought that e-commerce could rise from 19.2% to 53% by 2028.”
But he explained that people will only continue to buy goods if they are of a high quality and are delivered on time, exactly what this development will provide.
He added: “At this site we will also have the added benefit of the rail freight terminal which will enable these goods to be transported around the country in a more sustainable way.”
Strategic rail freight interchanges are a crucial part of the UK’s logistics network, contributing £1.7bn to the economy, whilst also playing a vital role in tackling rising levels of congestion, with each freight train removing up to 76 HGVs from Britain’s roads.
It is also significantly cleaner and greener than air or road freight, with each tonne of freight transported by rail generating 76% fewer carbon emissions in comparison to road haulage.
Newly released CGI images have also shown for the first time how the development will look once finished. The 450-acre state-of-the-art multi-modal logistics development will include 5 million square feet of modern sustainable warehouse space and logistics facilities.
The site will include over 80 acres of parkland and amenity grassland, 18km of footpaths, 20km of hedgerows and the planting of 60,000 new trees.