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First jumbo train carries Cemex limestone

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World Cement,

The first jumbo train of 34 wagons, which is 660 m long, has departed from Associated British Ports rail terminal in Cardiff, South Wales, and is travelling to Acton in London. The load of 2300 t of building materials will be used in the construction industry in the South East, and delivering the materials by rail will save the equivalent of over 80 truck loads on congested roads.

The train is operated by Britain’s biggest rail freight operator, DB Cargo UK, and is transporting limestone from Cemex’s Wenvoe and Taff’s Well quarries, on the outskirts of Cardiff, for use in the production of asphalt and concrete in London and the South East.

Cemex UK Rail and Sea manager Mark Grimshaw Smith comments “This is the first freight train of this size to ever travel from South Wales. Usually only 21 wagons are used but using 60% more wagon capacity makes it more efficient and definitely more environmentally friendly.

“We hope that we can use this type of jumbo train on other parts of the rail network where we have rail heads in quarries and we need materials such as rock, sand and gravel to be transported into conurbations such as London, where the roads are most congested. We look forward to working work with Network Rail and DB Cargo UK to make this possible.”

David Fletcher, Head of Major Projects at DB Cargo UK, said: “Using longer trains makes rail an even more efficient and competitive mode of transport. DB Cargo UK is pleased to have worked with Network Rail to deliver this new service for CEMEX UK. The 662 metres or 0.4 miles long train required the use of two locomotives because of the inclines in the Severn Tunnel. The use of one path to move a longer train also releases capacity for other freight services on a busy network. .”

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