Stobart Pullman hauled by DRS. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

New railway link connects Scotland to south of UK

Stobart Pullman hauled by DRS. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A new railway service was launched between the UK port of Tilbury and Grangemouth, Scotland’s largest port. The first train departed in northern direction on Friday 28 June. It is the first time that the ports are connected by railway, opening up a new transport link between the South of England and Central Scotland.

The service is organised by Forth Ports, the company that operates the ports in partnership with logistics provider Eddie Stobart and carrier Direct Rail Services. It is a weekend service, which runs via Daventry and travels overnight arriving into Grangemouth on a Saturday. The train will then make its return journey to Tilbury.


The train service has a capacity to travel with 36 containers carrying retail goods, food and drinks towards Scotland, while returning with export products such as spirits, chemicals and fresh food including potatoes. It was launched following customer demand, the parties said.

“This is the first time that a rail service truly links our ports in Tilbury and Grangemouth which opens up a number of import and export opportunities for our business and customers”, Stuart Wallace, Chief Operating Officer, Forth Ports said.


Earlier last month, another rail service was launched connecting UK’s northern port of Teesport with Doncaster, in South Yorkshire. The twice-daily service is organised by PD Ports in partnership with carrier GB Railfreight, for its multimodal transport customer Containerships. The end customer of the service is IKEA Transport & Logistics Services.

Also this service was launched in response to customer demand, explained PD Port. “The new service is responding to the growing demand for Teesport as the Northern UK gateway for trade which continues to see year-on-year growth across its container platform.”

Elisabeth Munck af Rosenschöld, Head of Sustainability, IKEA Transport & Logistics Services commented: “To us delivery accuracy is of key importance. At the same time, we have a very ambitious decarbonising agenda and actively seek to reduce our environmental impact wherever possible. To shift from trucks to trains is one way of reducing the number of shipments and fuel used per shipment.”

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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