Economic and green boost for Peak District as £14m rail freight scheme unveiled

Freightliner freight train using the new sidings at Buxton

Network Rail has transformed a disused council tip at Buxton into 430 metres of railway sidings so longer freight trains can serve local quarries.

The Great North Rail Project investment means freight firms DB Cargo and Freightliner can now increase their number of wagons on each train from 18 to 26. This, says Network Rail, allows up to 2,500 tonnes of stone to be transported during each load, providing a boost to UK building projects and the environment.

Network Rail claims that each freight train takes 76 lorries off local roads, and that “every tonne of freight carried by rail cuts carbon emissions by 76%". Martin Frobisher, managing director of Network Rail’s London northern western route, said: “We’re really pleased that this upgrade will give both a boost to the UK economy through greater productivity, as well as improving the local environment by reducing the reliance on lorries which cause congestion and produce harmful CO2 emissions.”

Andrew Sumner, head of industrial sales from DB Cargo UK, said: "This is a significant development for rail freight in the Peak District and will go a long way to relieve some of the constraints we face in the area. This is another example of a successful partnership approach between operators, industry bodies and stakeholders working together to develop and innovate the industry. We are stronger together."

Adam Cunliffe, chief commercial officer at Freightliner, said: “The extended sidings at Buxton mean that we can run longer trains with more wagons, helping deliver an increase in the movement of freight by rail in the area and all the associated economic and environmental benefits that brings.”

Dai Larner, executive director at High Peak Borough Council, said: “We’re delighted with this major investment project in our local rail infrastructure. It brings this land back into productive use and delivers real and very welcome benefits for residents, the quarrying industry and everyone using our road network by reducing the amount of freight being transported by lorry.”

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