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Valencia rail service restarts

[ December 6, 2011   //   ]

Stobart Group has re-started its seasonal rail freight service between Valencia, Spain, and Barking, east London. Operated by Europorte Channel, Eurotunnel’s through rail subsidiary it can carry 30 45-ft chilled containers of fruit and vegetables from Spain. The first train arrived into Barking on 25 November, monitored throughout the 50-hour journey by satellite tracking software. The service used the ‘international’ rail lines at the Folkestone end of the Tunnel – the old link between the Folkestone terminal and the Network Rail classic, third rail line to London Waterloo used by the Eurostar before the opening of the High Speed 1 route. As the train avoids the Dollands Moor yard, it eliminates and extra stop and also the need to pay a fee to DB Schenker, which runs Dollands Moor.

‪The new service has been part-funded by a grant from the European Union Marco Polo scheme, which promotes modal shift from road to rail.

Liam Martin, Stobart Rail Freight managing director, said the new service would “help take trucks off European motorways and ease congestion at key pinch-points such as the Pyrenees. The service will allow us to offer a cost and time-effective solution for supermarkets and food retailers in a carbon-friendly manner.”

Kevin Walker, director for Europorte Channel added: “Working closely with the team at Stobart Rail, we have been able to adapt to the demand of our customer and to the challenges of such a long route through the European railway network. This is a truly international partnership that demonstrates the added value that cross-channel rail freight can bring to the market.”