Network Rail has finished work to connect the West Coast main line in the UK to a new freight interchange logistics centre in Northampton.

New track, points and signalling systems were installed over nine days to connect the railway to the SEGRO logistics park in anticipation of its opening next year when four freight trains will serve the interchange.

West Coast South route director James Dean said: “Connecting this new freight interchange to the mainline railway network is a huge milestone and shows our commitment to working with freight operators to moving more goods in the most environmentally friendly way possible – by rail.”

The West Coast line is already one of the busiest freight routes in Europe, as it carries 40% of all UK rail freight traffic, making it an ideal connection for the new five million square foot warehouse, which is set to employ up to 7,000 people.

The newest interchange, which will be used by freight company Maritime, will connect rail links to the road beside Junction 15 of the M1.

Maritime’s executive chairman John Williams said: “These developments, at SEGRO Logistics Park Northampton are important, long-term commitments for Maritime to reduce our environmental footprint by developing a network of low carbon, strategic freight connections across the country to promote modal shift from road to rail.”

The modal shift from road to rail has long been a key focus point for companies in the UK looking to decarbonise their operations, including DP World, which recently launched its Modal Shift Programme to encourage the use of rail connections from its logistics hub in Southampton.

According to Network Rail, each freight train used on the new interchange will take the equivalent of up to 76 heavy goods vehicles off the road.