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Robert.Jervis_43227 Aug 07

Timber triumphantly returns to Scottish railways after eleven-year break

Milestone for Victa Railfreight
Trials have successfully begun to move timber by rail in Scotland for the first time in over a decade. The southbound flow originates at Georgemas Junction, and has potential to breathe new life into Scotland’s Far North Line, and on sparsely populated lines elsewhere. The first train ran this week, carrying a consignment from the small terminal to Inverness, a distance of just under 150 miles (240 kilometres).
Victa Railfreight, specialist freight train operators and industry support service providers, has received a grant of 195,000 British pounds (just under 220,000 euros) from the Scottish Strategic Rail Freight Fund. The government cash will help underwrite an operational trial to move around one thousand tonnes of raw timber per week for the next six weeks between the small Caithness terminal and customers in Inverness, understood to be principally the wood products manufacturer Norboard, who have already expressed interest in permanently re-establishing their own railhead.
The Strategic Rail Freight Fund was established last year by the Scottish government. The 25 million British pounds (28 million euro) ring-fenced purse is designed to help stimulate rail and modal shift over the next five years. “We have worked closely with the timber and rail freight industry to explore opportunities for modal shift and I am delighted to confirm funding for this rail freight trial which will remove around 250 lorries from our busy roads”, said Michael Matheson, the Scottish government’s cabinet secretary for transport.
“The trial will help to demonstrate that the movement of timber in Scotland by rail is possible as well as efficient”, added the cabinet secretary. “It will provide confidence to both the timber and rail freight industries to develop permanent and sustainable solutions to meet market needs. It is good news for the timber and rail freight industry, for the Scottish economy and for the environment.”

The full article from can be read here