Intermodality is working alongside DB Schenker Rail (UK) and TDG on the ‘EXCITE’ project (European X-Channel Intermodal Transport Enhancement), a partnership to pilot freight services along High Speed 1 (HS1), the first main line in the UK to be built to mainlane European standards.

HS1 Ltd and DB Schenker Rail (UK) Ltd have signed a Heads of Term to cooperate in the development of modifications to DB Schenker’s Class 92 locomotives, to enable the onboard TVM signalling system to operate on HS1.

HS1 Ltd will support the EXCITE project, which has secured Marco Polo funding from the European Commission. HS1 will lead the software development to the TVM parameters. This will ensure that the modifications required to Class 92 locos are available to all owners of Class 92’s who wish to operate over the HS1 infrastructure.

HS1 and DB Schenker have also agreed outline terms for a Track Access Agreement in anticipation of the commencement of freight services on HS1 infrastructure in early 2010.

Paul Chapman, Managing Director of HS1, said that “This agreement is a major milestone as it cleared the way for freight operation on HS1 infrastructure by DB Schenker and indeed by any other interested parties able to utilise the Class 92 fleet.”

Graham Smith, Planning Director for DB Schenker, said “This initiative will allow full-size European rail freight vehicles to move between the UK and the rest of Europe . It will open up a massive market for cross Channel rail freight, delivering major environmental and economic benefits”

Services are anticipated to start in 2010, carrying larger mainland European railway wagons and intermodal units to terminals in East London.