GBRf – successful parcel rail freight trials

A successful trial by GB Rail Freight (GBRf) has shown that parcels can be moved around the country using the railway network. Royal Mail used to use the rail network extensively but stopped over 20 years ago.

The rail network is mostly used for passenger travel but during the commuter lull brought about by lockdown the trial took place with parcels carried in cages on passenger trains, which also carried supplies for the NHS.

Varamis plans to run a railway parcel carrying service on the East Coast Main Line before the end of 2020. “Very interesting as they’ve obviously made it work”, said company principal Phil Read. “One advantage at the moment is that it is easier to move trains in the current climate due to the reduction in passenger train services”.

There are plans underway to bring the commuter rail network back into full use as soon as the 18 May with a rumoured phased end to lockdown beginning this coming Sunday. “We are committed to continuing to help the UK get through this period by ensuring that vital supplies are delivered”, said John Smith, GBRf managing director. “This successful trial shows how the railways can play their role in helping the speedy delivery of vital supplies and we are keen to be able to do our bit to help the NHS meet the logistical challenge of keeping our hospitals supplied during this period of huge demand”.