In-night delivery specialist Carousel Logistics has joined forces with Varamis Rail to develop a fully electric rail cargo route between Birmingham and Glasgow.
The partnership was formed in February of this year, and now, following a successful trial, the electric route has officially become part of Carousel Logistics’ pan-European delivery operations.
Varamis Rail, the UK’s first electric-only express rail freight operator, is utilising former passenger trains and converted them to carry cargo at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour between the Midlands and Scotland.
“The introduction of this zero-emission route out of Birmingham, our primary UK hub, is a real win-win for us” said Andrew Lowery, Managing Director UK, Carousel Logistics.
“Not only does this high-speed electric train drive our journey toward carbon neutrality, it is also faster than the diesel-fuelled alternatives.
“We’re looking forward to expanding our partnership with Varamis Rail as they add more capacity to this route, and sustainably connect more British cities.”
The game-changing train is powered by Network Rail’s overhead line infrastructure, with all electricity generated from environmentally friendly sources.
“Carousel Logistics has been instrumental in helping us design a route that meets the needs of time-critical delivery services – for this venture to be successful, it must serve the industry,” said Phil Read, Managing Director, Varamis Rail.
“Like ourselves, they’re pioneers – their team is innovative and exploring new, green alternatives in a bid to make cargo transport more sustainable.”
Carousel Logistics is now running freight out of Birmingham on Varamis Rail’s midnight service that departs just two miles away from the airport and pulls into Mossend rail hub terminal at around 4am.
Varamis Rail says the electric route will save 1,350 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year under the current schedule of a return journey between the cities five nights a week.
This schedule was carefully designed by both teams to not only reduce emissions, but to also bring about operational improvements for Carousel Logistics’ in-night deliveries.
“From the onset, we knew that our electric route had to be faster, more cost effective, and greener to be viable – and Carousel Logistics is helping us prove to the freight industry that we are all of the above,” added Read.
The service, which connects the cities in around four hours, is currently running Monday to Friday.
Carousel Logistics’ introduction of the electric train follows its recent investment in Electron, a battery-run electric aircraft that will enable zero emission, point-to-point air freight deliveries across Europe.