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Levelling up rail freight

Rail can form an important part of a logistics journey – it is reliable and has lower emissions for longer distances.

However, rail can sometimes be a challenging option for customers with just a few containers or who need a service to be more responsive at short notice.  

The team at 3Squared, which supplies consultancy and technology solutions to rail challenges, has recently won government innovation funding to help make rail freight more efficient through its ‘Levelling Up Freight’ project.  


Levelling Up Freight has two objectives. Firstly, if successful the project will make sure freight trains are more profitable by helping to fill them before they depart ports. Secondly, it aims to make rail freight more responsive by improving the process for finding additional train paths at short notice.   


3Squared is carrying out a proof of concept with Solent Stevedores at Southampton Western Docks. Network Rail has already invested £17m in the area to run longer freight trains (from 520m to 775m) in and out of Southampton, and Solent Stevedores is now investing in strengthening its ability to run longer and additional trains from Southampton Western Docks.  

By April 2023, it will have lengthened the platform for loading and unloading; doubled part of the track; and added a crossover so that turnaround times are reduced. This will enable more trains, increasing from nine to 16, and longer trains, up to 725m, to run each day.  


To help make the most of this additional capacity and get more freight moving on rail, 3Squared is keen to understand the conditions required that will make it easier for companies with smaller consignments (a few containers) to choose rail as part of their journey.  

If you would like to help make this project a success, Jason Durk at 3Squared would love to hear about your experiences of using rail, or why you do not currently use rail, and how services could be improved. Contact him via telephone on 07767 644659 or email or visit the website for more information.  


Published On: 21/04/2022 16:00:27


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