Posted: 10 January 2019 | Global Railway Review | No comments yet
Growth in online shopping has led shipping firms to explore rail for their logistics chain, however a lack of suitable trains has so far caused a delay.
Porterbrook has announced it will supply the Rail Operations Group (ROG) with bi-mode FLEX trains to support the company’s expansion into the rail postal industry.
Increasing congestion on the road network, a shortage of HGV drivers and the rapid growth in online shopping has led many shipping firms to explore rail as a key part of their logistics chain. However a lack of suitable vehicles has so far delayed the move.
Working with ROG, Porterbrook will renovate two of its innovative FLEX trains for light logistics traffic. The FLEX trains, that are capable of operating on both electrified and non-electrified routes, will help meet shippers needs for rapid movement of goods and just-in-time delivery.
Karl Watts, CEO of Rail Operations Group, said: “The time is right for a modal shift from road to rail for logistics and express parcels services. ROG are leading the industry in delivering this shift and the FLEX trains are the perfect rail-borne solution to make this happen. There is huge opportunity to re-establish a comprehensive network of express parcels trains and help reduce the number of commercial vehicles on UK roads which will, in turn, help to drive improvements in the UK economy.”
The operational flexibility of the bi-mode FLEX train complements the flexibility of ROG’s offering to light logistics shippers. The trains can be made available to single users (one customer secures all space within the train) or to multi-users depending on the shippers’ day-to-day requirements and deadlines.
Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook, said: “We are excited to be breaking new ground with ROG as we both move into light parcel logistics for the first time. The UK’s light logistics sector is experiencing huge changes and we’re delighted that we can support the sustainable solution on the rail network. Porterbrook is particularly pleased that ROG have recognised the potential for non-passenger use of our innovative FLEX trains and over coming months we will be exploring further opportunities to support the successful UK rail freight sector.”
The new FLEX parcels trains will be delivered to ROG in early 2020.
Rolling Stock Orders/Developments
Porterbrook, Rail Operations Group
Karl Watts, Mary Grant