Rail freight terminal key part of UK multimodal ‘iPort’
A new rail freight terminal in the north of England could be the catalyst for significant new business between the UK and mainland Europe & beyond. The iPort multimodal park is a collaborative project offering a 337-acre, six million square feet logistics centre near Doncaster.
Due to open this year, the 35-acre rail terminal will, say its owners, provide a ‘truly multi-modal logistics solution’ connection into the existing UK rail network. Just 50 miles by rail from the east coast Humber ports, it will provide ‘much needed capacity’ to the UK rail freight industry, enabling quick and efficient logistics connectivity to all parts of the UK and direct access with the critically important European markets.
Trains of up to 775 metres in length will be accommodated, supported by a host of intermodal features that can manage all types of freight. These include two 400-metre long handling sidings, a single headshunt siding, also to a minimum of 400 metres, as well as a locomotive release siding and a 45-metre cripple siding.
The sidings will support 200 x 25 tonne axle loads per train and facilitate the handling of W9, W10 and W12 gauge trains. Adjacent to the sidings will be the iPort ‘apron’ offering a minimum of 420m long and 15m wide. This will accommodate HGV traffic with a maximum axle weight of 50 tonnes and allow reach stackers to operate with a front axle load of up to 115 tonnes. The apron is designed to accommodate a four-high container stack with a maximum load of 122 tonnes.
With direct access to the adjacent M18 motorway, iPort includes several million square feet of business space, with the likes of Amazon and Lidl already having confirmed their presence. Michael Hughes, CEO of Verdion, one of the iPort’s letting agents, said: “2016 was a great year for iPort, with major lettings to household names validating the ambition of this project. We are glad to be able to announce the start of the second phase so quickly and expect to contend with a further wave of strong occupier interest in 2017.”
John Clements, European Development Director said it was ‘very pleasing’ to have such quality clients, and that all the rail link contracts had been signed with Network Rail, the national rail infrastructure manager.
“There will be three different groups of users for the rail terminal,” he told the Yorkshire Post newspaper. “The first is from the park itself, then we have got operators and businesses from the region. We have had conversations from manufacturers in the region. And then there is the rail companies themselves and this is just a good location for them. There is also a huge area for container storage, where we can house 50,000 containers. It is a regional facility, it is a business in its own right.”