The project will provide essential rail-gauge enhancement to the line between Southampton and the West Midlands and will enable high cube (9’6″) containers to travel on that line on normal wagons.
South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) has engaged with a number of key stakeholders to complete a funding package for the project worth a total of GBP54.65m (US$113.8m).
Southampton Container Terminals (SCT) and Associated British Ports (ABP) will invest up to GBP6m (US$12.5m) towards the total cost of the project.
“There is a worldwide trend toward the increased use of high cube (9’6”) containers and the current constraints on Southampton’s rail connection mean that high cubes need to travel by road. The upgraded infrastructure is therefore very valuable as it will enable more containers to be handled by rail – providing a more environmentally friendly method of transporting goods around the UK. Road users and the local community will also benefit through seeing less lorries on the approach roads to the terminal,” said Campbell Mason, SCT’s managing director.