Tesco has launched the first of two new rail services which it reckons will take 40,000 lorries a year off the road.
The Daventry to Thurrock services will move 20 containers a day and within two weeks is expected to operate and full capacity moving 34 containers, six days a week.
The second service linking Daventry to Magor in South Wales will be added later in November.
“In addition to transferring goods from our central depot to other points for distribution to the stores, the trains will also return to our depot with goods from our key suppliers making the service even more efficient,” said logistic director Nigel Jones.
Trains leaving from Daventry will transport products such as shampoo, deodorants, confectionary and wine. Trains returning to Daventry will be loaded with items such as washing powder, washing up liquid, and detergent from Proctor & Gamble.
Tesco has had two train services in operation for a number of years. Trains running from Daventry to Mossend operate six days a week carrying 32 loads each way.
And trains running from Mossend to Inverness operate six days a week carrying 20 loads each way.
Tesco’s new depot at Daventry is 60 per cent larger than its previous site and has 1.5kms of rail track.
The aim is to handle eight trains every day eventually. The combined savings across all four rail services (new and current), will take 72,000 journeys off the road, saving around 24,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum.
Tesco reckons it is the only dedicated train of this scale operated by a single retailer in the UK. The trains are branded in the Tesco logo style reading “Less CO2 Rail”. Tesco is working with Stobart Rail and Direct Rail Services.