Company to run proposed £750million rail hub announced

An artist's impression shows a rail line with nine large warehouses behind it.
-Credit: (Image: Tritax Symmetry)


The £750million rail hub planned for land near Hinckley will be run by a major UK logistics company should the scheme get the go ahead from the secretary of state for transport, it’s been announced. Should planning approval be awarded, the Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange (HNRFI), proposed by developer Tritax Symmetry, would be a major rail hub with nine warehouses and a rail terminal that could handle up to 16 trains each day.

Tritax has this week revealed that Maritime Transport Ltd will both build and operate the rail terminal at the 40-acre site, if the green light is given. The plan will be decided by the government, rather than by local councils, as it is deemed to be of national importance. The secretary of state for transport is due to announce the decision in September.

A new access and a lorry park would be created off the M69 at junction 2. Tritax says if the scheme is approved, it will open up links between Leicesterhsire and the Midlands with ports such as Felixstowe, Liverpool, London Gateway, Southampton, Teesport and Mossend, serving Scotland. Maritime Transport is based in Felixstowe, which is the UK’s largest container terminal.

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Tritax says the hub will remove more than 83 million miles of HGV journeys from UK roads and that the goods switched from road to rail might mean a carbon saving of 70,120 tonnes a year.

But the plans have proved controversial locally, with one councillor saying it could cause long commuter delays for people who travel from the county to work in Leicester every day. A public consultation about the scheme saw it called a ‘monstrosity’, with one respondee saying it would ‘blight a significant area’.

However there are people who feel it would be beneficial for the local area, with one person saying it would ‘inject vitality’ into the local economy, and another adding: "If it gives access to and from the M69 to relieve traffic flow in Burbage then I think it is a great idea.”

Speaking of the decision to appoint Maritime Transport to run the hub, Jonathan Wallis, Director at Tritax Symmetry, said: “Maritime Transport’s commitment to an SRFI at this early stage is a significant first in the sector and reflects ultimate confidence in the location’s suitability for rail freight from the leading road and rail freight location provider in the UK.

“Alongside Maritime Transport’s fully fledged support, we are excited by the potential of this prime location for rail-linked logistics, which we believe will see strong demand for large scale, flexible, modern, low carbon space.”

John Williams, Executive Chairman of Maritime Transport, said: “We are delighted to agree terms with Tritax Symmetry to become the long-term operator of the new SRFI [rail hub], in planning, at HNRFI. This development will strengthen our rail-connected network and our strategy of decarbonising the full load supply chain in the UK, moving cargo closer to the end user by rail.”

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