Drax Group, which operates sustainable biomass, hydro-electric and pumped hydro storage assets across four sites in England and Scotland, has called for more capacity on the network and for rail freight to be given a higher priority when allocating train paths.
Drax Power Station near Selby, North Yorkshire, has invested heavily in rail freight, importing around 7.5 million tonnes of sustainable biomass pellets each year.
DB Cargo UK currently operates around 60 trains per week – around 3,000 trains every year – into the site, carrying biomass pellets predominantly from Associated British Ports’ site at Immingham.
Plant Director Bruce Heppenstall said rail freight was a much safer and sustainable method of transporting the pellets than road, taking some 192,000 HGVs off the UK’s already congested road network each year.
“We firmly believe that freight belongs on rail, and the more product that can be transported by rail the better. It is safer, more predictable and reliable than road,” he said.
“Anything that can be done to stretch the capacity of the network would be welcomed by Drax Group,” he added.
DB Cargo UK’s Chief Sales Officer Roger Neary said: “Drax Group produces 6% of the UK’s total energy needs and 17% of its renewable electricity needs.
“Every train that we operate in to Drax Power Station carries enough product to power a city the size of York for a day. It’s a vast operation and one we’re very proud to be a part of,” he added.
“Rail freight is already a well-established and important part of Drax’s supply chain, which is growing year-by-year. What we need now is for Government to truly recognise the value of rail freight by setting a target for modal shift that will drive further investment in the industry,” said Roger.
For further information contact DB Cargo UK’s Head of Communications Richard Sears on 07716 691193 or by emailing him at Richard.email@example.com