HomeRail FreightDaventry expands north

Daventry expands north

An extension to Daventry International Rail Terminal (DIRFT) has been agreed by government and work will start in the next few weeks.

DIRFT III marks a massive expansion of the rail hub site with an extended railway line, 15 new warehouses and additional hard standing and access roads.

The new site is situated to the north of DIRFT between the M1 and A5, on the old Rugby radio masts field. The railway already in place – crossing the A428 to serve Sainsbury’s – will be extended over the A5 onto the new site. To the west of the A5 land has been earmarked by Rugby for new housing developments.


Prologis, which owns DIRFT, says the new site will be capable of dealing with 32 trains per day and 500,000 freight containers a year.

The news of DIRFT’s expansion marks RailStaff’s longest running success story. The opening of the terminal and the arrival of its first train – supplied by BR’s legendary Railfreight Distribution – formed the front page of the second edition back in 1997. Now almost twenty years later the rail freight logistics park is forging ahead to accommodate burgeoning demand for freight services on rail.

As DIRFT points out, transporting goods by rail can help companies reduce their environmental impact. Tesco, for example, saves 14 million road miles and 9.3 million kg of CO2 a year by using rail freight. It’s cost effective, too. One gallon of diesel can move a tonne of freight 246 miles by rail, but only 88 miles by road. Best of all rail freight is more reliable than road. Traffic on

the rail network is planned and timed. Tesco has been operating its rail network since 2006 and it achieves 98 per cent on time deliveries. The huge road works up at the junction of the M1, M6 and A14 underscores the point. The new junction will assist road traffic flow – and as rail freight users say, every little helps.


Local Daventry MP Chris Heaton- Harris told reporters, ‘DIRFT III is one of the biggest national infrastructure projects that will be getting under way this year in the whole country. It will bring an estimated 9,000 jobs. That number of jobs coming to the Daventry area can only be good news for the whole constituency.’

Says Rail Media’s Tom O’Connor, ‘I remember back in 1997, Andy Milne went round to see the manager of DIRFT, an old friend of his called Bill Waddington.

‘Neither of us thought it would be as successful as it was, but full marks to all at Daventry, Bill and his successors, as well as the many people who work there are making a real difference to the rail industry and the environment. Daventry was among the pioneers of the new industry and we continue to salute their success.’

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