Stobart Group has re-started its intermodal rail service between Valencia and Barking, near London. The seasonal rail service is operated by Europorte Channel and its GB Railfreight affiliate under the Groupe Eurotunnel umbrella. Europorte Channel will carry 30 chilled containers of fruit and vegetables from Spain to supermarkets and retailers in the UK every week.
The first train arrived into Barking on Friday 25 November and was monitored throughout the journey by satellite tracking software, which observes progress and ensures that the temperature of each 45ft long refrigerated container remains suitably chilled.
The journey takes just over 50 hours with the service passing through Spain, France and the Channel Tunnel.
As previously reported, Europorte Channel, like DB Schenker Rail, obtained EU Marco Polo fund support to modify its Class 92 Channel tunnel locos to work with HS1 signalling.
This removes the need for an extra loco change northbound at Dollands Moor, reducing cost and journey time. Class 92s are still not approved for travel through France, however.
Stobart and Europorte are planning to increase frequency to up to five pairs per week at peak times.