Construction begins on latest UK terminal

Ground has been broken at SEGRO Logistics Park Northampton Gateway, the latest addition to the growing family of modern intermodal facilities in the UK. The site is adjacent to the important M1 motorway and midway between London and Birmingham. The facility, underwritten by the London-based investment trust, is expected to enter logistics service by the end of this year, and be fully rail connected and operational by the end of 2023.

Work is underway at another addition to the so-called Logistics Golden Triangle in the English Midlands. Modernisation of Britain’s freight terminal inventory continues with the start of capital works on the construction at SEGRO Logistics Park Northampton Gateway. The company say having been conducting enabling works since last summer, they are now ready to begin climbing out of the ground. The Greenfield site has already been examined for ecology, archaeology and ground investigations.

Terminal statistics impressive

Once developed, the 450 acre (180 hectare) site will become a further multimodal logistics hub in the UK Midlands. The growing rail logistics sector is backed by the rail freight industry as evidence of confidence in the economic recover, and the shift to rail. The park will however serve rail, road and on-site logistics fulfillment.

The Logistics Park Northampton Gateway (LPNG) is crossed to the south and west by the busy West Coast Main Line and the loop into Northampton itself (SEGRO and Apple Maps)

There will be an impressive five million square feet (500,000 square metres) of what the developers call “modern, highly sustainable warehousing and logistics facilities.” Critically, the park will include a dedicated 35 acre (14 hectare) strategic rail freight interchange (SRFI) that will have the capacity for up to 16 trains a day.

Construction of a positive milestone

The park is backed by a 190 million British pounds (210 million euro) infrastructure works programme, including new rail connections. New road access will include a bridge over the West Coast Main Line, and building a bypass around the aptly named village of Roade. Although not always met with community approval, the region is set to reap the benefits of economic rebirth. SEGRO say the scheme will create around 7500 direct jobs, with around 120 created during the infrastructure construction phase. There’s also an employment skills programme aimed at training in the local community.

Local jobs are not just blue sky thinking. A community training programme is underway (SEGRO)

The environmental works include more than 80 acres (32 hectares) of parkland and amenity grassland, with 18km of foot paths, 20km of hedgerows and the planting of 60,000 new trees. The first logistics plots are expected to be available for buildings in late 2021, with the completion of the infrastructure works anticipated by the end of 2023. Andrew Pilsworth, SEGRO’s managing director, said the start of construction was a positive milestone. “Now more than ever are we witnessing the vital role logistics is playing in supporting the UK economy and it’s clear that businesses are relying on well located, sustainable facilities from which they can meet their customers’ demands.”

Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

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