Tesco and Direct Rail Services have partnered to introduce the former’s first refrigerated rail service, linking Tilbury with Coatbridge; the service also forms one of the first regular rail workings to the new Tilbury2 container terminal.
The new service operates twice a day, seven days a week, and was launched in December. DRS’s Class 88 bi-mode locomotives are used on the 415-mile run. The companies say the service will take at least 17,000 containers off the road each year. Tesco has used rail to transport goods since 2008 and says rail freight is key to meeting its commitment to net zero emissions in its own operations by 2035.
The introduction of the new service means there are now 14 Anglo-Scottish intermodal trains per day crossing the border in each direction. These are made up of deep sea services from/to London Gateway, Felixstowe, Liverpool and Crewe (for Southampton); short sea services from/to Tees (three); and domestic trunking trains from/to Daventry (five), Doncaster and Tilbury.