DB CARGO’S five-year contract to move Cornish china clay for Imerys expires in December and is currently under review.
DBC hauls bulk china clay from various locations to Par Docks and Carne Point, near Fowey, for export by sea. According to Imerys, negotiations with DB Cargo are still at an early stage, but the china clay producer is also considering other options for the traffic, including road haulage.
A decision should be announced later this year.
From its peak, Cornish china clay traffic moving by rail has steadily dropped over the last three decades, as English China Clays (now Imerys) cut back the number of rail-served clay dries, and reduced Cornish production in favour of cheaper china clay imported from Brazil.
Currently, DB Cargo deploys a single Class 66 and around 40 CDA covered hopper wagons to handle Imerys traffic from loading points at Gooonbarrow, on the Newquay branch, and Parkandillack, near St Austell, to Par and Carne Point.
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