UK train operator Varamis Rail, together with its partners, has launched a zero-carbon freight service using high speed rail, for the logistics sectors in the country.

The launch follows completion of successful trial operations to validate the robustness and practicality of the operation.

The project partners include Network Rail, Eversholt, Steer Consultancy among others.

Planned to run between Scotland and the Midlands from Monday to Friday, the new service targets express parcels, retailers, and third-party delivery companies. It will focus on next day delivery of consumer goods.

Eversholt Rail was responsible for converting several fully electric 4-car trains, which were used in passenger service, to enable them to carry freight.

Network Rail provided the operating licences, contracts, and train paths needed to operate the freight service.

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Varamis Rail managing director Phil Read said: “As the UK’s newest Train Operator, Varamis Rail is keen to promote the sustainable benefits that the railway has to offer to the UK economy along with Network Rail.

“The increase in online shopping and home deliveries over recent years has accelerated the demand to find a more environmentally friendly solution to moving our parcels, products, or light goods around the UK; one solution is the electrified rail network.”

The new fully electric service, which will serve as an environmentally friendly alternative to road haulage, is expected to contribute to the UK governments’ net zero emissions target.

It will provide access to urban rail stations located within the heart of city centres.