Port of Felixstowe, the Port of Britain, is set to double its rail capacity with the arrival of three state-of-the-art rail mounted gantry cranes ("RMG"). The cranes form part of a new Rail Terminal at the port which will further increase the already unrivalled range of rail services provided by the port. These first three RMGs, manufactured by Liebherr in Ireland, will span the new nine track rail terminal at the port, making them the biggest intermodal rail terminal cranes in the UK.
Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd, which owns the Port of Felixstowe, commented:
“The arrival of our new cranes is an important milestone in Felixstowe’s plans to deliver the most cost and environmentally efficient logistics infrastructure in the UK, with the opening of our new rail terminal in the summer of this year. Port of Felixstowe is already operating 58 daily arrivals and departures to the industrial heartlands in the Midlands and the North, as well as to the population centres of the South East, London and Bristol, handling in excess of 800,000 TEU per annum. We have listened to our customers and the government on the importance of rail freight in the reduction of logistics cost, as well as reducing carbon footprint, and continue to invest in our rail capability. When the new rail terminal is opened this year, together with our existing two rail terminals, we will have a total 20 rail tracks, more than London King's Cross Station. It will double our rail handling capability.
“With this in mind, it is essential that we have the most up-to-date and technologically advanced equipment at our service. These cranes are not only the largest in the UK, together with the only intermodal locomotive traverser in the country, they will be serving the largest container rail terminal in Britain, to provide our customers with a level of service and efficiency that is second to none.”
The terminal, co-financed by the European Union Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) programme, will dramatically increase the port’s rail capacity at a time when logistics operators are increasingly seeking low-carbon transport options, future-proofing Felixstowe’s rail offering for the foreseeable future. The port already has the UK’s busiest intermodal rail hub by far and the new terminal will double its rail handling capacity.
Civil engineering work is near completion, with 10km of track laid and the UK’s only intermodal rail traverser successfully installed in February 2013. Designed to handle trains up to 35 wagons long, the new North Rail Terminal reinforces the port’s commitment to sustainable distribution.