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Key rail service to Midlands launched at port, taking more freight off roads

PUBLISHED: 11:42 09 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:42 09 January 2020

A new daily rail service has been introduced from Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe to Maritime Transport’s newly opened East Midlands Gateway  Picture: PORT OF FELIXSTOWE

A new daily rail service has been introduced from Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe to Maritime Transport's newly opened East Midlands Gateway Picture: PORT OF FELIXSTOWE

Port of Felixstowe

A new daily rail service has been launched linking the Port of Felixstowe to a large Midlands hub.

The key link to Maritime Transport's newly-opened East Midlands Gateway means the port, which is owned by Hutchison Ports, remains on track to take more freight off roads with its 36 daily rail services.

The port says the new service caters for "ever-growing demand" for rail at Felixstowe and follows hot on the heels of two new rail services to iPort Rossington and Hams Hall introduced from the port in the latter part of 2019.

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Port boss Clemence Cheng, who is also executive director of Hutchison Ports, said rail was "an increasingly import" element of the transport mix at the port.

"Through three dedicated rail terminals at the port we offer more rail services to more inland destinations with greater frequency than any other UK port," he said.

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"The Port of Felixstowe has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Maritime Transport, initially as a road transport operator and more recently as a fully-fledged multi-modal logistics provider.

"As one of the largest privately owned transport businesses in the UK it is fitting that they have introduced the first regular service to East Midlands Gateway from the country's largest container port and intermodal rail hub."

John Williams, executive chairman at East Maritime Transport, said the service would be "a huge benefit" to its customers, he said.

"The movement of freight from the Port of Felixstowe continues to increase as does the demand for a greener solution for our customers. This service is the latest to be introduced as part of our intermodal offering and we look forward to announcing further rail services into this new terminal over the coming months."

East Midlands Gateway, which is based at Castle Donington in Leicestershire, is Maritime Transport's first strategic rail freight interchange and sits alongside the M1 motorway.

When fully operational, the 17 acre site will be capable of handling up to 16 775m-long freight trains per day. Other destinations served by rail from the Port of Felixstowe are: Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Teesport, Birmingham, Birch Coppice, Doncaster, Selby, Hams Hall, Wakefield, Ditton (Widnes), Rotherham, iPort Rossington and Cardiff.

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