Royal Mail to double rail freight service between England and Scotland

Royal Mail is to add three new England-Scotland parcel freight trains as part of its delivery network. The parcels will be taken from the new parcels centre in Daventry, Northamptonshire to the depot in Shieldmuir near Motherwell for onward delivery.

The three new trains will be added to an existing three such train services between Willesden in north west London, Warrington and Shieldmuir. These take some 300,000 parcels a day to Scotland.

The existing trains are windowless and designed to carry containers of parcels. They have lately been upgraded by reducing the number of doors to increase capacity by a third.

Royal Mail came close to cancelling its train services when it ended its ‘travelling post offices’ services with staff aboard manually sorting mail that ran between 1838 and 2004. By Christmas that year it re-started a staff-less service carrying parcels and this has continued.

The new, 78,000 square metre hub in Daventry will be part of the final phase of construction of the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal. It will also be Royal Mail’s biggest single unit and capable or sorting 1 million parcels a day.

Welcoming the expected new cross-Border trains, RFG director general Maggie Simpson said: “Moving post, parcels and packages by rail is a huge opportunity, making online retail cleaner and greener and keeping lorries off the roads.

“We welcome the investment in new facilities to support this, and look forward to seeing new services starting in the coming months.”

Royal Mail declined to comment on the matter.

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