Rail Freight in Great Britain - Rail Freight Steel, Timber, Vehicles and Waste - G

Rail Freight in Great Britain - G

Rail Freight Steel, Timber, Vehicles and Waste

Trainload freight movements include:

Rail Freight in Great Britain Nuclear Flask Trains

  • Direct rail Services operates all nuclear flask trains in Britain which, until the late 1990s, were previously operated by EWS (and British Rail before it). Destinations served include the UK nuclear power stations at Heysham, Valley (for Wylfa), Bridgwater (for Hinkley Point), Berkeley (for Oldbury), Hunterston, Torness, Seaton Carew, Dungeness and Sizewell.
  • The company formerly operated trains to the railhead at Southminster for fuel from Bradwell nuclear power station, however this installation is now in the process of being decommissioned.
  • There are also occasional trains from Ramsden Dock at Barrow-in-Furness to the processing plant at Sellafield, carrying nuclear waste from nuclear power stations in Japan and the Netherlands for treatment. DRS also have a contract to supply the Royal Navy's Devonport Dockyard with fuel for Britain's nuclear submarine fleet. These trains only run as required. There is also a train from Hull to Sellafield which reprocesses Russian spent fuel.
  • Low-level nuclear waste is carried by rail in containers from Sellafield to the Low Level Waste Repository at Drigg, several miles down the Cumbrian Coast.
  • There are plans to start running trains between Sellafield and Georgemas Junction in 2012, returning spent fuel from Dounreay to Sellafield.

Rail Freight in Great Britain Steel

  • Tata move steel products from Margam to Llanwern by rail, and from Scunthorpe to Ebange (France) via the Channel Tunnel. 10 trains run to/from the major Tata plant at Scunthorpe.

Rail Freight in Great Britain Timber

  • Colas Rail operates timber trains to Chirk from Carlisle, Ribblehead in the Pennines, Baglan Bay in South Wales and Teigngrace in Devon.

Rail Freight in Great Britain Vehicles

Road vehicles, particularly passenger cars, can be moved by rail using autoracks. Ford and Honda are two companies who use rail to transport road vehicles. Ford launched its Dagenham Dock to Halewood train using Cartic 4 wagons (up to 34 cars on each double deck wagon) on 13 July 1966. It was expected 200,000 Ford vehicles would be carried each year at a rate of 50 to 60 trains a week, plus 10 a week to the docks. 538 sets of Cartic 4 wagons were built between 1966 and 1972 and not finally scrapped until 2013. Jaguar Land Rover and BMW also use rail to transport vehicles. 90% of all finished vehicle rail movements within the UK are run by DB Cargo UK.

Rail Freight in Great Britain Waste

"Binliner" routes include:

  • Northolt and Cricklewood to Calvert landfill site.
  • Routes from Greater Manchester to Roxby Gullet landfill site (Freightliner).
  • Brentford to Appleford in Oxfordshire by DB Cargo UK.
  • Dagenham and Hillingdon to Calvert landfill for West Waste, also a DB Cargo UK service.
  • North London Waste Authority uses Freightliner Heavy Haul to operate a daily service from the transfer station at Hendon to Stewartby.
  • Bristol and Bath Councils have used rail since the 1980s and Freightliner now operate the service completing a daily circuit between the two transfer stations in Bristol and Bath to the landfill site at Calvert in Buckinghamshire.
  • Freightliner Heavy Haul carries Manchester's household waste on daily services from four transfer stations at Northenden, Bredbury, Pendleton and Dean Lane to Runcorn EfW Facility.
  • Edinburgh has used rail since 1989 and the DB Cargo UK service is booked to run Mondays to Saturday from Powderhall waste transfer station to a landfill site at Dunbar a distance of 27 miles.


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