Rail Freight

BP HAS been granted permission by Medway Council to build a rail loading facility at its aviation fuel terminal on the Isle of Grain. The aim of the facility is to allow trains to supplement pipelines taking fuel to Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Rail deliveries to the BP site were undertaken until the 1980s; the tracks and connections to the network remain. BP proposes building new rail loading sidings in the area of the disused sidings, with 15 loading arms able to load trains from either side. In addition to two sidings for fuel loading, two sidings will be provided for empty rakes and a fifth for locomotive fuelling and wagon maintenance. Fuel will be supplied from existing storage tanks and suction pipework to new rail loading pumps; a new filtration facility dedicated to rail loading is also planned. The initial operation envisaged is a single daily train of 20 wagons to Colnbrook, with the aim of adding a second train one year after the site becomes operational and eventually moving to 30-wagon trains. Operations are expected to begin in spring 2018.