Varamis Rail launches UK’s first zero carbon end-to-end rail logistics service

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UK train operator Varamis Rail has worked together with Network Rail, Eversholt Rail, consultant Steer and wider partners within the logistics sector to launch a new zero-carbon express rail parcel delivery service.

The service, which launched earlier in January, runs between Scotland and the Midlands, Monday to Friday. Targeted at express parcels, retailers, and third-party delivery companies, it will primarily deal with next-day delivery of consumer goods.

Eversholt Rail has converted several fully electric four-car trains formerly used in passenger service to enable them to carry freight while Network Rail provided the necessary operating licenses, contracts, and train paths for the service to operate.

The launch of the service followed trial operations, which commenced in October 2022, to test the robustness and practicality of the operation, and enabled logistics companies to test the service.

Varamis Rail managing director, Phil Read, said, “As the UK’s newest train operator, Varamis Rail is keen to promote the sustainable benefits that the railway has to offer to the UK economy along with Network Rail. The increase in online shopping and home deliveries over recent years has accelerated the demand to find a more environmentally friendly solution to moving our parcels, products, or light goods around the UK; one solution is the electrified rail network.

“Varamis Rail is incredibly appreciative of the support it has received from Network Rail to enable a start-up of its operations and we look forward to building on this relationship as the rail industry looks to play its part in decarbonizing the UK,” Read added.

The new service, which launched on January 9, is fully electric, and supports the achievement of the UK Government’s net zero policy, as an environmentally friendly alternative to road haulage. It gives access to urban rail stations located within the heart of city centers and is expected to benefit the rail industry in the future as an example of new market development and best practice.