GB Railfreight wants spare HSTs for high-speed parcels traffic

GB RAILFREIGHT has revealed that it is considering new high-speed, high-value parcels services using soon-to-be-redundant InterCity 125 sets.

The short-formed sets, with three or four modified Mk3 trailers, would be used to tap into the rapidly increasing same-day and overnight premium delivery market for mail order parcels.

Surplus HSTs, such as this Virgin East Coast set, could be modified to handle high-speed premium parcels traffic as the demand for same and next day delivery grows. ROBIN STEWART-SMITH

Speaking to The RM, GBRf managing director John Smith said: “We don’t want to carry the odd parcel on a passenger train, but there may be opportunities for premium services if we can collect enough of them to satisfy the volumes of a train.

“It doesn’t need to be a long train – maybe three or four coaches – but it probably needs to be a quick train to obtain suitable paths.

“The only way to find out if it really works is to try it.

“People have dipped their toes into this before, but we have to find someone willing to share the risk. We have to keep looking for ways to generate revenue from freight, even if it’s ‘blue sky’ stuff.

“The world has moved on, the trend is towards more and more parcels and we have to move with it.

Read more in the March issue of The RM – out now!

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