A cool new service is set to be introduced to Britain’s railway thanks to a partnership between Tesco and Direct Rail Services (DRS)
The innovative new service will run twice a day, seven days a week, as Tesco uses refrigerated rail freight to distribute chilled goods from Tilbury to Coatbridge.
The goods will be moved using low CO2 rail and will mean that rail freight will play a large part in supporting Tesco in providing Christmas goods this year.
The next two weeks will see hundreds of different products including some festive faves like sprouts, parsnips, carrots, onions, oranges and lemons delivered in time for Christmas dinner.
The use of rail freight comes with huge environmental benefits and each of DRS’s 415-mile journeys for Tesco will use Class 88 bi-mode electric locomotives which run on electricity and create zero exhaust and greenhouse gas emissions.
The service will mean that a minimum of 17,000 containers are taken off of the road each year which saves Tesco a huge 7.3 million road miles and equates to almost 9,000 tonnes of CO2e.
Jason Tarry, Tesco UK and ROI CEO said: “We’ve been using rail to transport our goods since 2008 and this new service reflects our continuing commitment to rail which has clear advantages for our business, our customers and the planet. Our rail service will be an important part of our efforts to deliver a fantastic Christmas for our customers but the journey doesn’t stop here as we continue to increase the number of containers we transport by rail as part of our commitment to reach net-zero emissions in our operations by 2035.”
Chris Connelly, NTS Deputy CEO and Rail Director, said: “This is fantastic news, not only for DRS and Tesco but also for the environment. This is an example of how rail can play an integral part in the race to net zero. Each train will remove around 40 lorries from Britain’s roads and we’re running two trains a day, seven days a week, saving 9,000 tonnes of CO2e a year. We’re thrilled to be working with Tesco on this new service, helping them drive down their carbon footprint as they deliver for their customers throughout the UK.”
Rail freight provides 76% less CO2 emissions if compared to road, also connecting with other rail operations throughout Europe via Tilbury Forth Ports means that fresh produce can be distributed with a substantially reduced carbon footprint.
Tesco is set to increase their use of rail freight further in order to meet its commitment to net zero-emission in their own operations by 2035. During the last year, the supermarket has seen an increase of almost 50% in the number of containers used for produce destined for stores transported by rail.