An international rail freight terminal – which featured on the front page of the second edition of RailStaff 17 years ago – has won approval for a substantial expansion.
Daventry International Rail Freight terminal (Dirft) currently runs approximately 140 trains a week. This figure could in theory rise to 224.
The new development, Dirft III, to be built by site owners Prologis, will provide 8 million square feet of rail- connected distribution space.
Increased capacity for up to 32 freight trains in and out of the centre each day will enable shippers to handle over 500,000 freight containers per annum.
Dirft III will be largely developed on the site of the Rugby Radio Station. The expanded rail freight port will give jobs for an estimated 9,000 people.
Freight companies at Daventry have long wanted more space as the demand for rail services has continued to grow. Planning hurdles had made the job difficult. The expansion of Dirft by Prologis has been welcomed by Freight on Rail.
However, more needs to be done to make it easier to expand rail freight facilities nationally as part of a coherent strategy, says Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail manager.
‘Daventry Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) demonstrates that rail and road complement each other and that these SRFIs allow efficient cost-effective transfer between modes.
So it is crucial that the government’s National Networks Policy Statement makes it clear that getting planning permission for a network of strategic rail freight interchanges across the UK, like Daventry, is an essential part of getting freight onto rail in order to reduce road fatalities, road congestion and pollution,’ says Philippa.
Malcolm Rail currently operates the rail side of the terminal and itself runs services between Dirft, Grangemouth and Mossend.