Work starts on major DIRFT project

Work starts on major DIRFT project

Work has started on a major infrastructure project at Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT) in Northamptonshire. Led by industrial property company Prologis UK and delivered by main contractor Winvic Construction, the project will include the construction of a new rail freight terminal and associated infrastructure works, including a new road access point to the site. Currently home to the likes of Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Royal Mail and DHL, the site’s three existing rail freight terminals handle 12 freight trains every day.

In its current form, the logistics park has warehouse buildings ranging in size between 100,000 to one million sq ft. Once completed, the project will triple the rail freight capacity at the facility. David Mellor, director, project management at Prologis UK, said: “Undertaking this national infrastructure project, of this scale, at DIRFT will bring a significant boost to the UK’s rail freight network.

“At a time where the UK’s roads are becoming busier than ever, rail freight offers businesses the opportunity to create even more resilient, efficient and sustainable supply chains.

“Aside from allowing companies to quickly deliver stock across the UK, each freight train leaving DIRFT takes 76 HGVs off the road, helping to cut traffic and reduce the release of harmful environmental emissions. “This, together with the fact that there are significant operational cost savings by being located near to the rail terminal, makes DIRFT the compelling opportunity for our customers. “The benefits of the capacity increase offered by the new rail freight terminal at DIRFT will be felt across the country.

“With HS2 recently being given the go-ahead by the government, there will be more opportunity than ever before for UK companies to tap into the rail network to deliver their goods up and down the country. “DIRFT is one of the greatest logistics success stories of our time. Its location, connectivity and facilities make it the first choice for any business that is serious about moving freight on the rails.

Getting the green signal to push forward with this major-scale infrastructure project, which will benefit the whole of the UK, is a significant milestone for Prologis and we’re delighted to be working with Winvic as our construction partner on this project.” Rob Cook, civils and infrastructure director at Winvic, added: “We are thrilled that Prologis recognised our experience in the construction of rail freight terminals as well as our commitment to positive and productive liaison with key stakeholders like Highways England and the Environment Agency. “Not only is the plot vast – totalling 344 hectares – but many elements of the scheme are complex and require specialist knowledge; from the diversion of and care for the local tributary and its wildlife to constructing adjacent to a live and busy highway.”

Work on the new rail freight terminal and associate infrastructure has started with projected completion in 2021.