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Major boost for the Solent as Ā£17.5 million rail project announced


The Minister for Rail and HS2, Huw Merriman MP, officially opened the new Solent Rail Terminal marking the completion of the Ā£17.5 million partnership investment between Associated British Ports (ABP) and Solent Stevedores.

The multi-million-pound rail upgrade project, which strengthens Southampton’s leading position as the UK’s number one gateway for deep-sea trade, took 18 months to complete. The milestone was marked with a plaque unveiling at an event for rail freight and maritime leaders and customers on 20 March at the Solent Stevedores operated Solent Rail Terminal in the western docks.

This major investment into the future of rail at the port has created an 18-acre facility expanding the intermodal rail transport site to broaden the service offer, with laden and empty container handling, storage, maintenance and repair within a single-site boundary – a first for the Port of Southampton.

“This project at Southampton embodies a multifaceted approach to port development,” says Ellis Shelton, Senior Policy Advisor, Logistics UK, “integrating infrastructure expansion, modal shift strategies, environmental stewardship and service innovation.

“Embracing these principles not only enhances the efficiency and resilience of the port but also positions it as a leader in sustainable maritime logistics, capable of meeting the evolving needs of global trade in the 21st century.”

Features of the new site include a newly designed track layout facilitating simultaneous train arrival and departures, increasing the terminal’s efficiency and extending the rail loading pad by 130m. The larger intermodal site, including container storage with full maintenance and repair facilities, will be able to handle a 71% increase in daily services with a 125% increase in the number of containers handled.

Published On: 28/03/2024 16:00:00

 

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News In Brief

Stena Line increases Dublin-Liverpool freight capacit

The Swedish ferry company has secured a freight-only vessel, Bore Song, to operate on its Dublin-Liverpool (Birkenhead) route.

The ship will boost freight capacity on the route by 30%. Stena Line’s Dublin-Liverpool dedicated freight service has been operational since 15 February 2024, with Stena Horizon serving customers temporarily whilst the company searched for a longer-term solution. Bore Song is now scheduled to undergo modifications and is expected to enter service in mid-April.

With a capacity for almost 3,000 lane metres of freight, the ship will provide significantly more space and is well suited for this unaccompanied freight route. Once Bore Song is operational, Stena Line will be able to restore normal capacity and operations on its Rosslare-Fishguard and Rosslare-Cherbourg routes.

The company is also investing further in its port operations at Birkenhead to better serve freight customers. Stena Line recently broke ground on a project to significantly increase parking for freight vehicles, with plans for 200 additional bays.

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