A £17.5 million scheme to expand the rail terminal at the Port of Southampton has completed its second phase.

Solent Stevedores, operators of the Solent Rail Terminal in the Western Docks, has taken possession of the second phase of completed works.

In this phase of the works, a further 6.5 acres of space has been connected to the existing rail terminal, the new rail track has been laid and the new offices on site have been completed.

This phase has also included realignment of the track creating two container sidings capable of servicing 640m trains.

This new track allows Solent Stevedores to accommodate longer services across multiple sidings increasing the number of daily departure slots to 12.

The maintenance and repair operations of managing containers and undertaking work on units are now live. 

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Clive Thomas, commercial director at Solent Stevedores, said: “This project is a key part of the future of rail freight movement at the Port of Southampton and crucially goes a long way to support the Government’s target to reach Net Zero by 2050.”

The £17.5 million investment, in partnership with ABP, to enhance the Port of Southampton’s container offer for deep sea shipping lines is moving into its third and final stage.

The project is on track to complete in early 2024 when the new 18-acre facility will give shipping lines access to intermodal rail transport with laden and empty container handling, storage, maintenance, and repair within a single site boundary – a first for the Port of Southampton.

The award-winning project supports the shift of cargo handling from road to rail contributing towards improved local air quality.