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Varamis Rail intoduces express rail freight to London


 Varamis Rail  hosted an event at Liverpool Street station, London - on Wednesday, 13th March showcasing how high-speed rail logistics can redefine urban logistics into central London and the City. 

The event showcased the new zero emissions freight service from Varamis Rail into central London – as a new approach to logistics which allows goods distribution by electric trains into the heart of London. 

The event was opened by Peter, Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill and Chair, Network Rail who spoke, from the doors of Varamis Rail’s Class 321 Swift Express freight train on Platform 11, to invited guests from rail, logistics and retail about the importance of zero emissions logistics and the unique advantage that rail has to bring freight right into a city or town centre. 

Varamis Rail’s high speed logistics service into central London offers deliveries that: 

  • are quicker and more efficient; 
  • are cheaper than current methods; 
  • directly reduces the carbon footprint of UK businesses; 
  • support the clean air strategies of major towns & cities; 
  • offer a sustainable alternative currently not achievable elsewhere. 

Industry leaders from rail and logistics were able to hear about the efficient intercity service for small freight, and the advantage that rail offers in efficiencies, cost, reliability and sustainability objectives. 

Representatives from companies able to offer sustainable end-to-end deliveries for the first/ last mile, such as electric van and e-cargo bikes were also on display at the event, along with innovations in refrigerated transportation of small perishable goods. 

Phil Read, MD, Varamis Rail said: 

Varamis Rail continue to promote the sustainable benefits that the UK rail industry has to offer the logistics sector and wider economy. Our showcase event today has given an opportunity to key stakeholders not only from the logistics sector but local government to visualise a more sustainable method of moving high-volume goods into the heart of central London with our fleet of repurposed fully-electric former passenger trains. 

The Transport Sector in the UK remains the largest emitter of co2. If the UK government target of net-zero emissions by 2050 is to be met, then ambitious, carbon-free initiatives like Varamis Rail service offering are not just desirable, they are essential.” 

Katie Frost, Route Director, Network Rail Anglia said: 

“Today’s gathering shows that the future is bright for rail freight. Partners from across the industry and beyond are coming together to explore new opportunities and accelerate the shift to rail. We are proud to be playing our part in delivering greener and more efficient freight transportation, and to be hosting this showcase at Liverpool Street station, just as we celebrate its 150th birthday. Over the years, the station has been at the forefront of innovation and reinvention, so it is a fitting backdrop for today’s exciting event.” 

Maggie Simpson OBE, CEO, Rail Freight Group said: 

"Cultivating a sustainable future for urban logistics demands innovative solutions, and today's event underscores the pivotal role of rail freight in reshaping the transport landscape of central London. As we forge ahead, collaboration between rail and logistics industry stakeholders remains paramount in realising the vision of a greener, more efficient urban freight network with rail at the centre." 

Scott Wilding, Principal Strategy Planner, Transport for London Transport Strategy and Policy (Roads and Freight) said:  

"Today's event signals a significant leap forward in our commitment to sustainability and improving air quality in central London. By prioritising rail freight solutions, we're not only reducing congestion and emissions on our roads but also fostering a cleaner, healthier environment for all Londoners. Through collaborative efforts, we're paving the way for a greener, more sustainable future where freight transportation plays a pivotal role in preserving our city's air quality and vitality." 

Steve Evans, Founder, XeroE said: 

“Today's event shows the indispensable role of companies like ours in revolutionising urban freight logistics, particularly in the critical first and last mile of deliveries in central London. By navigating congested city streets with ease and zero emissions, I’m proud that XeroE’s bikes, cargo bikes, and electric vehicles are not just delivering goods; they're delivering on our commitment to cleaner air, reduced congestion, and enhanced urban livability. Our partnership with Varamis Rail enables us to make initial bulk deliveries into the centre of cities sustainable. But not only that, it costs less. This means we can provide clean green deliveries at competitive prices and reduce the barriers to businesses that want to make the switch”. 

Liam Henderson, Chair, The Rail Innovation Group said: 

“When we launched our Parcels as Passengers workstream in 2021, we could see that there were many opportunities for rail to support distribution through its well known assets of speed and capacity. We’re incredibly pleased to see the continued success of Varamis Rail making the concept a reality; we welcome the opportunity to support the delivery of the demonstration, and hope it will inspire the industry to work together to identify new routes and distribution flows that can make more efficient use of our rail network and its city-centre access points.” 

Varamis Rail 

Varamis Rail is the UK’s first high speed rail logistics company providing fast, zero emission end to end logistics services. Varamis Rail won a ‘First of a Kind’ grant from Innovate UK in September 2022 to support its activities in this new space for express rail freight. This funding from the Department for Transport enabled the company to continue with the development of its rail operations including enticing new customers onto rail who previously had little or no knowledge of what the railway could offer. Since then Varamis Rail has been running High Speed freight services between the Midlands and Scotland, and now want to promote their new zero emissions freight service into central London, a new approach to logistics which allows goods distribution by electric trains into the heart of London.  

Deb Carson, Rail Innovation Group
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