Utilising inner city rail connections for sustainable logistics in central London
The demonstrator will return multi-modal freight services into London and other major cities, using trains to transport bulk goods and smaller low-emission road vehicles for last mile deliveries. A small consolidation centre is planned at Euston station in London in a building constructed for this very purpose in the 1960s to enable individual deliveries to be grouped together, minimising the number of vehicles and trips involved.
The pilot seeks to encourage a shift to low-carbon transport modes, consolidation and last-mile logistics as a commercial service. Working with LaMiLo partners, other logistics providers and end customers, the aim is to create a new sustainable urban distribution network, delivering goods close to their final destination by rail, river and canal, with final delivery in road vehicles more appropriate to the local urban environment.
In autumn 2012, a freight train operated by Eddie Stobart and Colas Rail, successfully delivered goods for Sainsbury’s on an overnight service from the Midlands into London’s Euston station, for onward “last-mile” out-of-hours delivery to stores in Central London, using smaller goods vehicles more suited to the urban environment.
A similar trial is expected to take place by mid-2014. Prototype pods will be utilised on the pilot service.