John G Russell has launched a cross-Channel rail freight service, following a restricted capacity trial period, with P&G supplier 2XL as initial customer.
It is using Eurotunnel’s rail freight subsidiary Europorte supported by GB Railfreight for the rail operation – its beyond the UK’s borders.
It began the service between Barking and Dourges, near Lille, in early November, sending goods along HS1 and through the Channel Tunnel. It is now operating a daily train Monday to Friday.
Ken Russell, director at John G Russell, said: “We are very pleased with how well this project has gone so far with the train operating at about 95 per cent efficiency. Naturally, this is a new area for us and we have had to learn a lot and learn quickly, but the feedback has been great and we are confident that demand will continue to increase.”
Neill Porter of Procter & Gamble said: “P&G are equally pleased with the smooth start-up of rail services, achieving new transit time for standard supply between France and UK. Rail is integral to P&G Sustainability ‘Fewer and Friendlier Miles’ strategy and shifting to intermodal transport through collaborative network solutions.”
Over the next two years, John G Russell plans to invest more than £500,000 in 90ft wagons with modified couplings to meet the requirements of hauling a 1,600 tonne train on HS1. The company is working with AAE for the wagon supply.