Repurposed freight train, via Network Rail

New zero carbon rail freight service launched

UK rail infrastructure owner Network Rail has partnered with the countries newest train operator, Varamis Rail, to launch an innovative new rail freight service that will bring zero carbon movement of goods through Scotland and the Midlands, Monday to Friday.

This service, which was launched last week, is targeted primarily at express parcels and third-party delivery companies, primarily dealing with next day delivery of consumer goods. As the UK aims to achieve carbon net zero by 2050, a continued modal shift in freight from roads to fully electrified rail services will have transformative effects towards this goal, whilst also freeing up space on the roads for local commuters.

To achieve a fully decarbonised service, a collection of former passenger services trains were converted, enabling them to haul freight goods upon the grant of operating licenses, contracts, and train paths for the service to operate. Following these precautions, a trial of the service was conducted, commencing in October of 2022, which saw the robustness and practicability of the service put to the test.

Georgie Newby, Network Rail’s Senior Commercial and Customer Relationship Manager, said:

“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support the launch of this innovative new service from the latest Freight Operating Company to join the network. It is the result of hard work and dedication across multiple organisations, all working closely together to deliver a great, zero carbon service for logistics companies to use. We look forward to delivering other innovations to keep growing the amount of parcel logistics transported by rail.”

Launched on the 9th of January, this fully electrified freight service will provide access to the urban rail stations situated in city centres across the route, with expectations to support and present an example of how the rail sector can present the ideal alternative to road haulage.

Want to know more about the opportunities to become a key supplier to the UK rail industry? Attend TransCityRail and access an exclusive marketplace of buyers from Network Rail, HS2, Train Operators, Major Contractors, and all other tiers of the supply chain. For more information and to secure your place click here.

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