Release Date:
Release ID: 938

New rail freight service for Scotland

A new freight train service which will remove 260 lorry journeys every week from Scotland's busy road network was launched on 19th September 2006.

The first train was launched from Daventry in England at 1100 hours, arriving at Grangemouth rail freight terminal after 2200 hours.

Minister for Transport Tavish Scott said:

"I am delighted to see major players like Tesco and Eddie Stobart Ltd seizing the initiative in switching so much heavy freight from road to rail.

"Not only will this scheme significantly reduce pressure on our road network, but the removal of so many lorries from our roads also has clear environmental benefits.

"This devolved government is committed to getting freight off our roads and onto our railways and waterways and since 1999 our freight grant schemes have made considerable strides in doing just that.

"I will shortly launch a Freight Action Plan for Scotland and I would like to see more businesses think about their freight priorities."

The Executive has awarded a Freight Facilities Grant (FFG) of £200,000 to Eddie Stobart Ltd to contribute to the capital cost of purchasing 90 intermodal containers for the movement of Tesco traffic on rail between Daventry and Grangemouth. The containers are directly transferable from lorries onto trains.

Every weekday, ESL will collect goods from Tesco sites around the Daventry area; deliver them to Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT) where they will be loaded onto the train bound for Grangemouth Rail Terminal. Leaving at 06.31, the train will arrive at 16.06 in Grangemouth, from where the goods will then be delivered by road to Tesco's Distribution Centre at Livingston. The service will be repeated in reverse each day, with the train leaving Grangemouth at 18.11 and arriving back at DIRFT at 02.57.

The Department for Transport has also provided Company Neutral Revenue Support (CNRS) of £235,130 to Eddie Stobart Ltd. This grant scheme provides revenue support to freight operators for the transport of inter-modal containers by rail rather than road. Tavish Scott announced on April 12 that all future applications for CNRS in Scotland will be administered by the Executive.

Awards of FFG are based on the environmental benefits which are generated by transferring freight from road to rail and water. This particular project is expected to generate almost £3 million of environmental benefits over a three year period.


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