The UK’s rail freight network is set to receive a significant capacity boost as work begins on a major infrastructure project at Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT) in Northamptonshire.
Led by industrial property company, Prologis UK, and delivered by main contractor Winvic Construction Ltd., the project will include the construction of a new state of the art rail freight terminal and associated infrastructure works, including a new road access point to the site.
Classed as nationally-significant infrastructure, DIRFT is recognised as one of the most successful intermodal (rail/road) logistics parks in the UK. Situated in the logistics ‘golden triangle’, which spans from Northampton to East Midlands Airport in the North, and West towards Birmingham, the site benefits from excellent road and rail links, with access to the M1 motorway and the West Coast Main Line, the primary rail freight route in the UK.
Currently home to major household names such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Royal Mail and DHL, the site’s three existing rail freight terminals handle 12 freight trains every day. In its current form, the logistics park has warehouse buildings ranging in size between 100,000 to 1 million sq. ft. The site draws labour from a significant local employment catchment area of 30 minutes and has strong connections to the UK’s busiest container ports.
The entire DIRFT scheme is covered by a Development Consent Order, under which Prologis UK has had plans approved leading to the works getting underway. This latest phase of works includes the construction of a new rail freight terminal, enhancement of the current rail corridor, which connects into the West Coast Main Line, a new bridge over the nearby A5 and the creation of a new northern access point to the site.
Once completed, the infrastructure project will triple the rail freight capacity at this important facility. David Mellor, director, project management at Prologis UK, said: “Undertaking this national infrastructure project, of this scale, at DIRFT will bring a significant boost to the UK’s rail freight network. At a time where the UK’s roads are becoming busier than ever, rail freight offers businesses the opportunity to create even more resilient, efficient and sustainable supply chains.
“Aside from allowing companies to quickly deliver stock across the UK, each freight train leaving DIRFT takes 76 HGVs off the road, helping to cut traffic and reduce the release of harmful environmental emissions. This, together with the fact that there are significant operational cost savings by being located near to the rail terminal, makes DIRFT the compelling opportunity for our customers.
“The benefits of the capacity increase offered by the new rail freight terminal at DIRFT will be felt across the country. With HS2 recently being given the go-ahead by the Government, there will be more opportunity than ever before for UK companies to tap into the rail network to deliver their goods up and down the country.
“DIRFT is one of the greatest logistics success stories of our time. Its location, connectivity and facilities make it the first choice for any business that is serious about moving freight on the rails. Getting the green signal to push forward with this major-scale infrastructure project, which will benefit the whole of the UK, is a significant milestone for Prologis and we’re delighted to be working with Winvic as our construction partner on this project.”
Work on the new rail freight terminal and associate infrastructure has started with projected completion in 2021.