A modern and advanced rail freight terminal was required for the third expansion of the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal. Moving freight by rail rather than road produces 3.4 times less CO2 per tonne-km and 70% less carbon emissions according to Department for Transport, UK, “Delivering a Sustainable Transport System”, The Logistics Perspective (December 2008)
Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT) is a rail-road intermodal freight terminal with an associated warehousing estate in Northamptonshire. It is located close to the M1 motorway and has a rail connection from the Northampton loop of the West Coast Main Line. Originally designed to act as a regional node for rail freight flows to and from the Port of Felixstowe and the Channel Tunnel, it is a key part of the UK network of the Trans-European Combined Transport network.
The original DIRFT development of approximately 121 ha was built during the 1990s, of which only DIRFT south (DIRFT Railport) had a direct rail connection. An extension of about 52 ha referred to as DIRFT II was designed to have all facilities rail connected. A second extension, DIRFT III, includes a new rail link to a replacement interchange together with new transhipment sidings, container storage, an HGV reception area and over 750,000 sq m of distribution warehousing. The 163 ha site also features a lorry park for 300 vehicles, operational facilities including a rail control building and staff facilities, plus a 70 ha strategic ecology zone known as Lilbourne Meadows.
Ramboll provided Transport Planning, Rail and Ground Engineering services for the £1 billion DIRFT III expansion project, together with specialist rail freight logistics expertise. The terminal handles over 30 freight trains in and out per day and over 500,000 freight containers each year, and has the capacity to store 6,300 twenty foot equivalent units (TEU). This logistics and warehouse facility provides users with complete flexibility to manage the movement and distribution of their goods as sustainably as possible.