Night time shot of reach stakes moving XPO liveried container

Scotland and England connected by XPO trial run

Image: XPO media centre

XPO Logistics, one of the world’s largest logistics and transportation companies, is four weeks into a three-month trial of a new rail freight service between England and Scotland. The operator, which has enthusiastically demonstrated its affinity for rail, has been looking for opportunities in the UK. The move is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to expand its multimodal transportation solutions, which aim to provide more sustainable and cost-effective ways of moving goods around the British Isles.

According to XPO, the trial of the new rail service will offer their customers an overnight long-haul option for transporting goods between its sites at Mossend (Motherwell) in Scotland, and their sites in England, principally at Daventry. The service is being trialled as part of a larger effort to integrate rail transport into XPO’s supply chain operations. The company expects to see significant cost savings and environmental benefits from it.

Hours saved despite Carstairs diversions

The current trial covers a distance of more than 500 kilometres from XPO Logistics’ own handling terminal at Crick, just a few minutes from Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal in Northamptonshire, onward to Mossend International Railfreight Terminal in Scotland. Goods are then transferred to the XPO depot at the adjacent Eurocentral logistics hub. The multimodal transit time from Crick to Motherwell is about two hours less than the same journey by truck and avoids the risk of road delays, say XPO.

The three-month trial runs during the extensive redevelopment of the track layout at Carstairs – the vital junction on the West Coast Main Line, where lines to Glasgow and Edinburgh diverge. That has made access to the Scottish end of the operation somewhat problematic, but diversionary routes have been available.

“We’re very excited to be launching this new rail service,” said Malcolm Wilson, CEO of XPO Logistics Europe. “By adding rail to our existing road and sea transport options, we’re giving our customers more flexibility and choice when it comes to moving their goods. We’re also taking an important step towards reducing our carbon footprint and helping to create a more sustainable logistics industry.”

France and England already connected

The new rail service is part of XPO’s broader efforts to develop more sustainable transportation solutions, including electric and hybrid vehicles and increased use of renewable energy sources. Although still heavily dependent on trucking globally, the company has set itself an ambitious target to reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2025. It claims to be working closely with its customers to help them meet their sustainability goals.

XPO says it will be closely monitoring the trial of its new rail service over the coming months and expects to make further investments in rail transport as part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability and innovation. The company already operates a number of rail freight services across Europe and recently introduced a Channel Tunnel connection between France and England. The operator says it sees significant growth potential for the sector in the UK market.

“We’re confident that this new rail service will be a real game-changer for our customers,” said Wilson. “It offers a faster, more efficient and sustainable way of transporting goods between England and Scotland. We’re looking forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on our business and the wider industry.”

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Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

1 comment op “Scotland and England connected by XPO trial run”

bönström bönström|23.03.23|10:33

Yes, avoiding risks, thus ensured high quality (Goal of clients..) now shall become goal of Industry!
Stuck at standards, already at last century not optimal, currently railways is plaguing itself and clients with a suboptimal, regrettably, simply a not robust infrastructure.
(Redundancy, margin, readiness, “height”, for future demand, at railways, now has to be provided!)
All, other modes, as upgradable, safely upgrade for higher loads and lower costs – and handsomely are rewarded…

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