HS2 will enable growth in rail freight usage at UK ports

HS2 will enable growth in rail freight usage at UK ports

HS2 Ltd has released a new video showing how the additional capacity HS2 will create on Britain’s existing rail network will benefit UK ports and distribution centres that use rail freight for the movement of goods.

Filmed at the Port of Tilbury in Essex, the video explains how HS2’s capacity benefits will allow ports and distribution centres to offer more rail slots to their customers on the existing network. 

The Port of Tilbury, which has invested around £23 million in new rail-related infrastructure over the last couple of years, anticipates the amount of materials moved by rail to increase by 900,000 tonnes per annum within the next five years.

The Port of Tilbury is the largest port on the River Thames spanning 1,100-acres and incorporating the London Container Terminal and a new port complex, Tilbury2, which together handle over 500,000 containers and trailers per year for import and export. Tilbury2 also has a dedicated construction material and aggregates terminal (CMAT), capable of handling in excess of five million tonnes of bulk product per annum. With the development of Tilbury2, including its two rail terminals capable of handling the longest freight trains, the port has scope for significant increases in both unitised and bulk cargo flows.

Carole Cran, CFO of Forth Ports said: “HS2 will give us the headroom to grow our network of low carbon delivery routes. By building a new rail line, HS2 takes fast trains off the existing railway and places them on their own dedicated tracks. This allows local and freight trains to run at similar speeds on the existing lines, freeing up space across the network for many more passenger and freight services, so there are benefits for everyone, not just those who will travel on HS2.”

Ben Rule, Infrastructure Management Director, HS2 Ltd said: “Building HS2 is the best way to increase capacity for rail freight on Britain’s existing rail network. Giving the UK’s ports the ability to transport more goods using rail will take lorries of the roads, reducing carbon emissions from transport, and will help us achieve a greener future for Britain.”

Jackie Doyle-Price, Member of Parliament for Thurrock, said: “HS2 is the largest infrastructure project in Europe. It will bring a significant increase in rail capacity to the benefit of the whole UK. HS2 will free up capacity on existing lines to enable the transport of more rail freight including from major ports like Tilbury in my constituency. I fully endorse Tilbury’s push to grow its low carbon delivery model, with rail at its heart. Whether it’s food, medical supplies, or building materials, as we build back better, Tilbury will continue to play its critical role for the nation.”

HS2 Ltd has today also released a new explainer animation – ‘HS2: Upgrading freight Britain’ – which further demonstrates how, by providing additional capacity on the existing network, the new high-speed line will enable more freight to travel by rail, as well as allow an increase in local and regional passenger services.