Railport set to double capacity

DONCASTER'S railport has a new operator which is hoping to more than double the amount of freight brought into the town by train.

Freightliner Group has taken over the running of Doncaster Rail Freight Terminal from DHL Exel Supply Chain.

The firm is to also push ahead with expansion plans which are expected to create more jobs at the Decoy Bank terminal.

The railport, owned by Doncaster Council, was opened around 15 years ago.

Currently the site handles 37,000 deep-sea containers a year, which arrive on three trainloads each day.

However, London-based Freightliner wants to increase the amount of containers travelling through Doncaster closer to the port's annual capacity of 90,000.

To help achieve this the firm is planning to handle more freight shipped to the UK from the Far East manufacturing market.

Peter Maybury, managing director of Freightliner Ltd, said Doncaster was ideally situated to serve the major conurbations in the Yorkshire area.

He said: "Our terminal network is crucial to linking the various aspects of the intermodal logistics chain, clearly differentiating the Freightliner product from other rail borne offerings, and is key to our position as market leader.

"The acquisition of Doncaster will further enhance this network and enable us to continue to offer complete rail-focused logistics solutions to our customer base."

Freightliner bought the operating lease for the railport after DHL put it up for sale in 2006.

All current staff had their jobs transferred to Freightliner following the deal which was completed last month.

However, the company would not put a figure on how many new jobs could be created.

Government advisers are keen to encourage more freight traffic by train to reduce pollution and congestion on the roads.

Freightliner has increased the amount of rail container movements by 55 per cent in the last decade.

Its similar operation in Leeds already handles 115,000 containers a year.

Doncaster's railport currently handles GB Railfreight trains from Felixstowe, Suffolk; Fastline container trains from Thamesport, Essex; and EWS trains bringing new cars from Scotland.

Almost all the container loads brought into Doncaster originate from the Far East, in particularly China.