Stobart’s refrigerated train from Europe rises again.
GB Railfreight, one of Britain’s largest freight operating companies, has once again started the “Fridgemodal”, or refrigerated intermodal container service from Italy to, of all the exotic destinations in England and Scotland, Dagenham.
The train, previously operated by DB Schenker, takes a route right through the heart of Western Europe to Calais, before using the Channel Tunnel, and then the South East and London’s most twisting and turning routes to reach East London.
The weekly service conveys various goods which cannot run without being kept in temperature controlled conditions, such as groceries. The goods are carried in solid sided “Less CO2” and “Stobart Rail” boxes, each individually having a cooling and refrigeration system attached to them.
It is one of three new flows which runs to the Ripple Lane terminal, two of which are mainly dedicated to Tesco. Alongside the “Fridgemodal” (whose boxes carry the Tesco branding) is the Direct Rail Services train from Daventry which runs six times a week, but also carries Tate & Lyle sugar. DB Schenker’s new service, which uses High Speed One, comes from Poland.
The new services come as a boost to the Ripple Lane site, which previously saw as little as one service a week from Didcot. This service also continues to exist, sometimes carrying Grain / Wheat for Kingsmill.
The “Fridgemodal” continues to increase the diversity of GB Railfreight’s portfolio, and is now the next service anticipated to use High Speed One, as it is an overnight service. It also benefits from running direct from the Eurotunnel Boundary to Dagenham with a single driver, as opposed to having to wait at Dollands Moor, which improves its cost and journey time.
Since beginning, the train has seen interesting haulage. First was 66709, the unique black liveried locomotive advertising the Medite Shipping Company. Recently, 66720 has been used. 66720 carries a special livery designed by children. In all cases, a Class 92 is also included in the train for parts of the journey where an electric locomotive can be used.