Construction sector to benefit from £18m rail investment in Peak District

The environment, the economy and the regional road network are set to benefit from an £18m investment in the railway in the Peak District.

As part of the Great North Rail Project, Network Rail is investing £18m to lengthen freight sidings in Buxton. The vital investment will allow even longer freight trains to operate across the railway network, transporting construction materials from Buxton’s quarries to destinations across Britain.

Extending the track by 430 metres will allow freight trains to increase their number of wagons from 18 to 26 wagons. This will help provide an economic boost for local quarries and future national construction projects, as up to 2,500 tonnes of materials could be transported by each train. 

Having longer trains will also help create a cleaner environment, as each freight train takes 76 lorries off the road and each tonne of freight transported by rail cuts carbon emissions by 76%.

James Dean, chief operating officer at Network Rail said: “Freight trains play an important role in the operations of UK PLC. This is why as part of the Great North Rail Project, we’re delighted to announce an £18m investment to lengthen a well-used sidings, so that longer freight trains can load at Buxton in the future.

“This project is also good news for the environment, as it will help remove more lorries from our roads across the region and beyond, removing congestion and reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.”

 The 430m railway extension runs through a former council-run waste facility which will be made safe and landscaped.

Network Rail will install 1,822m of new drainage to make the sidings able to cope with heavy rainfall. The existing public footbridge will also be extended and better lighting will be fitted to limit the impact of light on nearby residents.

The Buxton sidings project started in March 2018 and will be complete in April 2019. There is no disruption to passenger and freight services while the upgrade is completed. The scheme is one of a number of investments across the network to make it possible for longer freight trains to operate between the Peak District and the south of England.

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