Hot award for cool service

Direct Rail Services (DRS) wins prestigious award for growing rail freight in exciting new areas.

The Rail Freight Group awards, held earlier this month, showcase excellence in all aspects of rail freight and the benefit it brings to the country.

This year, DRS, in partnership with Tesco, won the “driving rail freight growth” category for the introduction of their refrigerated rail service.

The judges called the launch of Tesco’s first refrigerated rail service, operated by DRS, as a trail-blazer, saying that “reliably moving chilled produce in large quantities is a step change for rail”. This service will help drive the whole chilled food market to increase its use of rail freight, and the significance of this should not be underestimated, the judges said.

The new service is Tesco’s first refrigerated rail freight service, distributing chilled goods from Tilbury to Coatbridge by low CO2 rail twice a day, seven days a week.

The 415-mile route uses DRS’s Class 88 bi-mode electric locomotives which can run on electricity and produce zero exhaust and greenhouse gas emissions. This service alone will take at least 17,000 containers off the road each year, saving Tesco 7.3 million road miles and nearly 9,000 tonnes of CO2e.

DRS is part of Nuclear Transport Solutions (NTS). Speaking about the award success Seth Kybird, NTS CEO, said: “I’m thrilled this innovative service has been recognised throughout the industry with this award win and it demonstrates what rail freight can do when we work in partnership with our customers.

“It’s also an example of how rail can play an integral part in the race to net zero. Each train will remove around 40 lorries from Britain’s roads and we’re running two trains a day, seven days a week, saving 9,000 tonnes of CO2e a year.”


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