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Robert.Jervis_43227 Mar 25

LHOFTy ambitions

LHOFT
LHOFTy ambitions
New report highlights benefits of trans-Pennine rail link
The report describes an option to provide the new rail route, by the improvement of existing railways, and reopening of closed sections of railway, between South Humberside and Manchester. The route would be gauge cleared to allow road trailers to be carried on freight trains.  As part of the option, new rail passenger links between Grimsby, Lincoln, Sheffield and Manchester could be developed. Amidst the current freight transport difficulties facing businesses involved in European trade, this could lead to lower costs and decarbonisation of freight. 
 
The study team found that there are approximately 110,000 HGVs moving from the Immingham area hauling European import loads to North West England each year. The report suggests that, with the provision of rail infrastructure to allow continental road trailers to be carried on trains between the Humber and North West England, around 80,000 of these could be transferred on to rail, equivalent to 300 lorry-round trips a day.  With new port infrastructure and sea ferry routes, additional capacity and schedule intensification on existing ferry routes, further traffic could be accommodated via the Humber and carried by rail across the Pennines

Opportunities for intermodal rail freight between North West England and the Humber Ports – Transforming Northern freight flows

The report covers trade data analysis and forecasting, and uses this to identify the potential for transfer of freight from road to rail

Key Findings
  • Size of the market for rail – Given current total estimated inbound volume of 110,000 unit loads through Immingham and Killingholme and 25,000 unit loads through Hull destined to North West England, the potential train loads of traffic transferable from road to rail have been identified. Between 9 and 18 trains could run daily from Immingham to Manchester, and between 1 and 3 from Hull
  • Cost of road and rail transport - Trans-Pennine rail could be able to offer business lower costs than road, and a route to decarbonisation
  • Rail network capacity and capability - Rail has constrained route capacity and limited flexibility in loading gauge across the North of England. A concept for an electrified rail route has been developed. It would provide a step change increase in capacity for freight trains, and allow continental road trailers to be carried on trains, between Immingham and Manchester. The route, via Sheffield and Woodhead, could also provide new services to benefit rail passengers
  • Enabling business, operators and government to make choices – The report explores opportunities for cost savings and carbon emission reductions, visualised in a way to make the choices of route and mode for freight transport easily understandable, for business and government
Key Recommendations
  • Develop options for change in the key factors that drive choice in freight load routing and mode for Northern England's European imports and exports. To include new port infrastructure and sea ferry routes, additional capacity and schedule intensification on existing ferry routes, along with the provision of rail infrastructure to allow continental road trailers and other unit load types to be carried on trains between the Humber and North West England
  • Identify options for additional road-rail intermodal terminal capacity to the west of Manchester, with road links to the city, M62 and M6
  • Consider whether a Manchester by-pass railway, avoiding conflict with routes intensively used by passenger trains, could allow more freight trains to avoid the city centre and access road-rail transfer terminal sites
  • Improve data availability for study of mode choice and routing of the UK’s European imports and exports
  • Continue development of tools allowing visualisation of choices for businesses, transport operators, infrastructure planners and government

More details can be requested from Amar Ramudhin, Professor and Director Logistics Institute, University of Hull a.ramudhin@hull.ac.uk