The heaviest freight train ever to run on the West Coast main line has made its debut journey from the Peak District to London with essential construction materials.
The so-called ‘jumbo service’ hauled 3,600 tonnes of aggregate on March 17 from Tarmac’s Tunstead quarry in Derbyshire to Wembley Yard in London.
Related articles on The Railway Hub
- Transport for London agrees bailout extension with UK government
- Public transport usage ‘won’t be the same’ after lockdown is eased
- Dartmoor Line services to return for first time in half a century
It saw two Freightliner trains coupling together with a combined total length of 590 metres and consisting of 39 wagons.
It was carrying aggregate for use in roads and major infrastructure projects in the south east, such as HS2.
On arrival into London the train split into two, and each continued on their separate journeys – 20 wagons headed to Battersea and the remaining 19 to Paddington New Yard.
The jumbo train experiment is hoped to benefit the environment by taking construction traffic off roads and with more transported by rail instead.
Network Rail, Tarmac and Freightliner were able to test the concept of merging two heavyweight freight trains while fewer services are running on the West Coast main line during the coronavirus lockdown.
David Hunter, senior route freight manager for Network Rail, said: “The pandemic’s made us all think differently and in rail freight’s case, we’re taking advantage of the space available in the timetable.
“It’s the first time we’ve seen a train of this weight and length take this route. By transporting more and further afield, we’re showing how the rail industry is building back better – adapting more efficiently to the needs of our economy and environment.”
Chris Swan, Head of Rail at Tarmac, said: “Effective use of the rail network is key in supporting the transition to a net zero society, and collaborative approaches are vital in helping the industry drive forward more innovation and sustainable solutions.
“We’re delighted to see the successful trail our first 40 wagon train transporting essential construction materials from Derbyshire to London as part of our ongoing commitment to supporting the delivery a low-carbon built environment.”
Railway ReadsFrom the history of steam through to 21st century rail transport news, we have titles that cater for all rail enthusiasts. Covering diesels, modelling, steam and modern railways, check out our range of magazines and fantastic subscription offers.
Get The Railway Hub Weekly Round-upEnter your e-mail address below and you will receive weekly rail news straight into your inbox...
You can unsubscribe at any time.
About the Author
- Get involved with Yorkshire Wolds Railway’s Jubilee weekend - 25th May 2022
- Crisis talks to keep trains running amid fears of ‘historic’ rail strike - 24th May 2022
- Elizabeth line: Delayed £18bn Crossrailopens to passengers - 24th May 2022