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Hanson restores rail link to Ashton-in-Makerfield

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Cement,

Hanson has invested £250 000 in the restoration of railway siding at its plant in Ashton-in-Makerfield. It will mark the first time that rail freight has been run into the plant for 10 years and will allow hundreds of lorry journeys to be taken off the roads each year.

In partnership with GB Railfreight, Hanson will run trains from its quarry in Shap, Cumbria to its plant in Ashton three times a week. The company expects that more than 200 000 t of material will be transported by rail along the new route each year. The railway saw its first service on 15 October.

“The investment in the site is an important part of our rail strategy,” said Simon Day, Regional Manager for the North of Hanson UK. “We are working to try to increase the tonnage of aggregates we transport this way across the UK. These three trains a week will take around 1500 truck journeys off the road each year and mean that we only need to put the material onto road transport for the last 5 – 10 miles, rather than the 60 – 80 miles we do now. This will reduce the distances travelled on the road by our truck fleet by around 500 000 miles per year.”

“We are delighted to be partnering with Hanson on this new service, which will be using one of GB Railfreight’s recently purchased class 60 locomotives,” said John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight. “This partnership is a further demonstration of the role freight can play in taking trucks off the road and reducing emissions.

As well as supplying the construction market in the north west of England, the material will be used by the company’s asphalt and concrete plants. Money is being spent on refurbishing the rail track, servicing the site, and upgrading the depot, including through the installation of a new weighbridge and office facilities.

Hanson is the UK’s leading supplier of heavy building materials in the construction industry. Hanson is part of the HeidelbergCement Group, which is one of the largest building materials manufacturers in the world.

GB Railfreight is the third largest rail freight operator in the UK.

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