GB Railfreight uses electric commuter unit for London freight trial

A Class 319 electric multiple unit carrying freight has run into London Euston.

The trial was designed to showcase what could be successfully loaded and offloaded using standard roll cages at most main line stations and was the first of its kind in the UK to be carried out using a former commuter EMU. It also demonstrated the volume of goods that could be carried if the trains had their seats removed.

The April 1 trial was operated by GB Railfreight, which is in discussions with the Government about how such a service could help to deliver supplies to UK hospitals in the short term.

Longer-term, the plan could be to reintroduce a network of parcels services, as existed until early 2004 when EWS lost the Royal Mail contract. Since then, specially built Class 325s have carried parcels between various terminals, but with no main line station served.

“This successful trial shows how the railways can play a role in helping the speedy delivery of vital supplies,” said GBRf Managing Director John Smith.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 904, published on May 6, and available digitally from May 2.

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  • Dan Sellers - 07/05/2020 12:23

    Sounds like a good idea; remember that when the 317/319 /321 trains were built they carried parcels and it would help reduce road / motorway traffic and lead to quicker same / next day delivery without the need for purpose built infrastructure. Many rail stations have level access to / from platforms that could be used for delivery / collection access and it would help increase rail transport's share of the frieght / parcels business. I can understand the withdrawal of the antiquated Travelling Post Office trains in the 1990s - 2000s but there is a greater future for this type of service, as the Royal Mail 325s performed from 1996-2004.

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  • Sam Green - 11/05/2020 22:51

    So a photo is shown of the train carrying and unloading- NOTHING !!! As for the article - NOT TRUE !!The Railways lost the Royal Mail parcels contract in 1987. After that they only carried LETTERS for Royal Mail up until 2004 not parcels!! The Class 325s have never carried parcels for Royal mail only letters which they continue to do so on a limited basis! Apalling and inacurrate railway journalsim!

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