This morning saw the first ever double-stack container train to be seen in the UK, courtesy of new open-access rail freight operator Fopol Rail. The 750 metre train formed of 37 wagons can carry 74 x 40′ length containers, dramatically increasing the carrying capacity of a single train and taking a record-breaking number of lorries off the road network.
Welcoming this dramatic development for UK and European rail freight, Lila Porof, Managing Director of Fopol Rail, said:
“North America and the Indian sub-continent have already embraced the step-change in efficiency of rail freight using double-stack intermodal trains. We are therefore delighted at being first to market with launching double-stack operations in Europe, and based on our assessment of routes capable of accommodating such trains in the UK, we will be now be able to offer services on several key intermodal corridors in the coming months.”
Fopol Rail’s emerging network of W13-gauge short-line routes (subject to confirmation and minor footbridge re-engineering) is expected to include:
• Felixstowe (to Trimley)
• London Gateway (to Thames Haven Junction)
• Southampton Western Docks (internal movements only)
• Tilbury Northfleet Hope terminal (to junction with exchange sidings)
• Boston Docks (to just outside Thorpe Culvert and almost to Sleaford)
• Thamesport to Lower Stoke (A228 overbridge)
• Dungeness branch (Appledore to Lydd)
Intermodality is delighted to have helped with the fabrication of this exciting new chapter in the ongoing story of rail freight.