GB Railfreight launches Port of Felistowe’s 31st daily rail freight service

The first departure of the Port of Felixstowe's 31st daily rail freight service, to Birch Coppice.

The first departure of the Port of Felixstowe's 31st daily rail freight service, to Birch Coppice. - Credit: Archant

The Port of Felixstowe today saw the launch of its 31st daily rail freight service.

GB Railfreight has added a new service – its seventh from Felixstowe – linking the port with the Birch Coppice intermodal distribution centre near Birmingham.

Felixstowe handled the equivalent of nearly 900,000 standard containers by rail last year, with the total boosted by the port’s new North Rail Terminal.

Clemence Cheng, chief executive at the Port of Felixstowe, said: “As well as being the busiest container port in the UK, Felixstowe also operates the country’s biggest intermodal rail facility.”

He added: “The 30-plus wagon trains that run from there are the longest intermodal trains in the UK.”

Capacity at the North Rail Terminal is being further increased by the addition of two new rail-mounted gantry cranes, co-financed by the European Union Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) programme, which brings to nine the number of gantry cranes serving the port’s three rail terminals.

John Smith, managing director of GB Railfreight, said: “This is a really exciting day for us. We have worked extremely hard to identify opportunities to increase our capacity to and from the port. As a result, we now run the longest intermodal freight trains on the network with wagons that can accommodate 40 foot-containers.

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“The winning of our 7th slot is an important milestone as it enables us to further expand our capacity, helping us to continue to meet the demand from our customers and support the growth of the intermodal rail freight market and its potential to take freight off the roads.”

Regular rail services are also run from Felixstowe to Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Teesport, Birmingham, Doncaster, Tilbury, Selby, Hams Hall, Daventry, Wakefield, Ditton (Widnes), Burton, Scunthorpe and Bristol.