Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering has won a contract to build a new rail terminal, which is capable of handling the longest trains in the UK, at DP World’s London Gateway.

The UK-based firm will build the first of three rail terminals, as well as double track the branch line to the new deep-sea container port that is being built on the north bank of the River Thames.

The new terminal will be capable of accommodating trains that are up to 34 wagons long to meet future capacity at the logistics hub.

London Gateway port / park interface and rail terminal manager Gina Acosta said the company recognises that customers are looking for a reliable service that will reduce transportation costs.

"With 33% of London Gateway port’s throughput expected to go by rail, we are committed to having the right infrastructure and operational processes in place from day one," Acosta said.

London Gateway port is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2013 and, when fully-developed, it will handle 3.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) annually.

According to DP World, rail services to and from London Gateway will provide regular, easy and efficient movement of goods between major centres in the UK, when compared with road transport.

Intermodal rail terminals will be provided within both the port and the park, along with tracks to a number of directly rail-served buildings.

The park rail terminal in the port will also be equipped to handle European containers and swap bodies for UK domestic and continental European flows, as well as deep-sea containers.