Logistics company Maritime Transport has signed an exclusive agreement with Tritax Symmetry for the development and operation of a planned £750m Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) in the UK. 

The contract would see Maritime Transport (MT) develop a 40-acre SRFI at the Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange (HNRFI), connecting the Midlands region to some of the UK’s busiest ports. 

John Williams, executive chairman of MT, said: “This development will strengthen our rail-connected network and our strategy of decarbonising the full load supply chain in the UK, moving cargo closer to the end user by rail.” 

While the HNRFI project is still waiting for final approval, if completed it would connect to the UK’s largest container terminal in Felixstowe as well as other major ports such as Liverpool, London Gateway, Southampton, Teesport, and Mossend. 

MT’s SRFI would be capable of handling 16 trains per day and sit next to 7m sq ft of warehouse facilities, forming part of the company’s network of 40 logistics sites across the country, including its headquarters in Felixstowe. 

The contract marks a notable step forward for the interchange project as it awaits the approval of a Development Consent Order due in September 2024 from the UK’s Transport Minister. 

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Maggie Simpson, director general of the Rail Freight Group, said the early “display of support” for the new SRFI was welcome news for the advancement of sustainable rail logistics operations. 

She said: “The development of a national network of strategic rail freight interchanges is paramount to ensuring the long-term future viability of the UK Government’s target to enhance modal shift of freight from road to rail. We are encouraged by Tritax and Maritime’s commitment to rail freight.” 

The proposal for the HNRFI continues a push towards intermodal transport solutions in the UK and a move away from road operations, following on from the construction of other interchanges such as a centre in Northampton connecting to the country’s West Coast Main Line last year.