Train Asda be freight way to travel

THAT Asda be perfect – a supermarket with its very own train!The company imports the majority of its products through Felixstowe and is set to have its own freight train from the port to take hundreds of containers off Suffolk's busy roads.

THAT Asda be perfect – a supermarket with its very own train!

The company imports the majority of its products through Felixstowe and is set to have its own freight train from the port to take hundreds of containers off Suffolk's busy roads.

Direct Rail Services (DRS), which already does a large amount of work for the supermarket chain Asda, is undertaking a series of trials to see if a service from the container terminal would fit in with its existing network of services.

It is understood the Adsa train would be aimed at smooth transportation of the supermarket's goods to a new Suffolk distribution centre, near Stowmarket.


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A spokesman for DRS said the service from Felixstowe had not started yet.

"This is one route which we are actively looking into at the moment for development, among others," he said.

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"We are doing a lot of work for Asda with WH Malcolm hauliers on our Daventry to Grangemouth service. We have highlighted a couple of feeder routes in Scotland and Felixstowe is one of the routes being looked at in the south to feed into this."

The company has programmed trials to assess the possibility of using Felixstowe.

DRS is a British Nuclear Fuels Ltd group company based in Carlisle. Originally it provided BNFL with a strategic rail transport service for spent nuclear fuel and low-level nuclear waste, and the transport of bulk chemicals.

It has since moved into handling a wide range of other cargoes for major companies and has been identified as one of the top 100 best performing companies of Blair government era.

Felixstowe port already has a number of rail freight cargo operators sending trains in and out daily, taking thousands of lorries off the A14.

English Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS), the country's leading rail freight operator, launched a daily weekday link between Felixstowe and Wakefield in March, following its five trains a week service to Widnes started last year.

Freightliner and GB Railfreight also operate services out of Felixstowe. Freightliner operates 14 trains a day – around 370,000 containers a year – and is hoping to add another to the service.

The port is committed to help meet the government's target to increase rail freight by 80pc by 2010 and is keen to provide its customers with as many rail options as possible.

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