Freight trains using electric multiple units could be operating on the East Coast Main Line by the end of the year, in plans unveiled by Varamis Rail.
The initial plan is for trains to run between London, Doncaster and Newcastle, with further expansion into Scotland. Trains are due to start in December.
“Our concept is to offer an express parcels/consumer goods rail delivery service around the UK’s electrified rail network,” Varamis Managing Director Phil Read told RAIL on March 27.
Initially, the rolling stock was to have been Class 365s stored at Crewe South Yard. However, Read said alternative EMUs have been offered and therefore all options are being considered.
He told RAIL: “We’ve had constructive discussions with two major logistics companies who were very positive about our alternative concept of moving their goods.
“We feel that we’re offering the logistics sector an opportunity to become more sustainably progressive than ever before, and an opportunity that currently is not available to them. Collaboration with logistics companies is key for us to deliver the benefits that will give indisputable support to their social responsibility strategies.”
Read said the routes were chosen owing to their capacity and their being electrified. He wants the trains to run at more than 80mph, which would enable express train paths to be used. Work is under way with Network Rail to identify these.
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