posted on 22nd Jul 2020 08:19
HS2 Ltd showed an example of how Britain’s new high-speed railway will provide a greener future by enabling new train paths on the existing network which can be used to move more goods by rail. Greater capacity for freight features Derby-based company DC Rail, who specialise in moving construction materials by rail. They are part of Cappagh Group, a family owned group of companies that provide construction services.
In order to minimise the environmental impact of their operations, construction materials are moved by their own rail freight operating company, DC Rail. As part of a multi-million pound investment, they are currently constructing a new rail freight terminal in Wembley, on the West Coast Main Line, that will help them offer new rail services to customers in London.
Building HS2 frees up a massive amount of space on the existing railway by placing high-speed services on their own pair of tracks. Once HS2 is operating, services can run much closer together, meaning there can be more train paths to be used by freight services. The West Coast Main Line is the busiest mixed-use railway in Europe and is effectively full, meaning there is a lack of additional space to run more freight services on it. HS2 will change that, and once further phases of the railway are built, will provide additional capacity on the East Coast and Midland main lines.
Companies like DC Rail are already using the limited slots on the network for freight to move construction materials. For example, materials delivered by rail are being used to construct new homes, schools and hospitals across the country. One freight train can carry enough material to build 30 houses, and in London, over 40 % of construction materials are delivered by rail.
Each freight train removes up to 76 lorries from UK roads, which currently amounts to 1.5 billion fewer kilometres a year by heavy goods vehicles, or more than seven million lorry journeys. Freight trains also shorten many road journeys by delivering goods to a central logistics terminal, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery of goods to businesses and consumers. Rail is also used to take things away from construction sites, such as soil. DC Rail already takes soil away from the capital’s construction sites and this is then used to restore old quarries, making the management of those sites more sustainable too.