UK deal to double rail capacity at East Midlands

Maritime Transport has struck a deal with management company SEGRO to double the rail capacity at SEGRO Logistics Park East Midlands Gateway in the first deal since the designation of the East Midlands Freeport. Maritime will also be the manager at the Logistics Park Northampton, currently under construction. The partners have described the deal as a huge step forward for intermodal rail traffic potential in the terminal. The deal, which includes the long-term lease of a new, 17-acre (7 hectares) intermodal rail terminal and broader management role for Maritime, covering the rail infrastructure on the Logistics Park Northampton, will provide occupiers at Northampton and in the East Midlands with new, low carbon freight connections from UK container ports and other inland rail terminals with capacity for up to 16 daily trains, when fully operational.

Managerial responsibilities

SEGRO and Maritime are set to double rail freight capacity at what the former calls SEGRO Logistics Park East Midlands Gateway.

It is the first deal struck since the designation of the East Midlands Freeport – part of a UK government programme to boost trade around the United Kingdom.

A computer rendering of the Northampton site (Maritime)

Maritime has agreed terms with SEGRO to become the rail operator and take on broader managerial responsibility. The 775m long, open access, strategic rail freight interchange (SRFI) can receive the largest intermodal trains and has a ground storage capacity of almost 2,500 TEU. The state-of-the-art logistics hub is located four miles from Northampton and adjacent to motorway interchanges, putting it in the heart of the logistics’ Golden Triangle’.

Charging capacity

The development, which is currently in the early stages of construction, will deliver 5 million square feet (467,000 square metres) of modern warehouse space on completion.

Supporting the rail terminal operation, Maritime will be making additional investments at the site, including the construction of a four-storey office building, new container handling equipment and provisions for electric truck and car charging infrastructure. In a separate agreement, SEGRO and Maritime have agreed to extend the rail facility at East Midlands Gateway, doubling the terminal’s capacity. It is the first agreement signed since the designation of the East Midlands Freeport, the UK’s only inland freeport.

Second phase to be delivered in 2023

The original rail terminal at the site opened in 2020 and has seen substantial growth.

Currently, there is an average of 10,000 container movements through the terminal every month. The second phase, which will be delivered by late 2023, will provide two additional rail sidings, a further 12 acres (5 hectares) for container storage, and parking for over one hundred road trucks. The terminal currently operates six daily trains to locations including Felixstowe, Liverpool, London Gateway and Southampton.

All occupiers at the park currently make use of the rail terminal.

Maritime has been on something of a significant growth drive lately, signing similar deals elsewhere, including at Mossend in Scotland and Hams Hall in Birmingham.