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Author Topic: New Railway Parcels Service  (Read 1590 times)
SandTEngineer
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« on: March 21, 2020, 06:54:12 pm »

From International Railway Journal: https://www.railjournal.com/freight/new-british-operator-plans-green-parcels-service/

Quote
BRITISH start-up Varamis Rail is targeting the introduce of a carbon-neutral express parcels service on Britain’s East Coast Main Line.

The objective is to only use 160km/h electric trains and to link the service to an electric road vehicle distribution system for collection and delivery of parcels and light goods. The objective is to offer a fast, reliable service which is safe and secure, has real-time tracking and offers comprehensive supply chain management.

“We want to keep it simple, and we are trying to be as carbon neutral as possible,” Mr Phil Read, Aramis Rail’s managing director, told IRJ.

The company has applied for a train operating licence and is developing a safety case. “We have had constructive discussions with Network Rail and we are talking to a rolling stock leasing company in order to obtain an electric train,” Read says. Varamis Rail will probably use a former passenger train which will be converted for parcels use.

Varamis Rail is looking for suitable terminals in London, Doncaster and Newcastle for the launch service. These could either be existing rail connected depots or passenger stations with direct road access to the platform.

Transit times from London of 2 hours to Doncaster and 3 hours to Newcastle are envisaged. “We want to prove the concept first before we extend the service to Edinburgh and Glasgow,” Read says.

Read says some private investors have already shown interest in the concept, but it is too early to determine how much it will cost to launch.
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broadgage
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2020, 08:19:33 pm »

This sounds an excellent idea, though with most unfortunate timing.

Would they have enough parcels to fill a train ? Not completely full but sufficiently full as to be profitable.
At present the coronavirus is eclipsing all else, but eventually it will pass.
When it does pass, parcels will still need delivering, and carbon emissions of road transport will still be a concern.

I wonder if it would be possible to run a mixed train that conveys several passenger coaches in addition to parcels. There would be a saving in paths and in train crew if compared to running two trains.
If the service was run primarily for parcels as is proposed, then the extra costs of conveying passengers would be modest.
Purchase or lease of suitable stock.
Wages of a guard.
Cost of extra traction current.
No cost for a path, as needed anyway to convey parcels.
No cost for a driver as needed anyway for the parcels service.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
infoman
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2020, 04:25:09 am »

Maybe start with a Norton Fitzwarren to Minehead service.

Would love to know how many small vans take a small parcel to Minehead from the Taunton direction,as well as in the other direction.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2020, 09:22:50 am »

This sounds an excellent idea, though with most unfortunate timing.

Yes, but its going to take months, if not years, to set up a track access agreement with NR, so better to start that as soon as you feel you have made a business case for it all.  I welcome new ideas like this, its about time some others did it as well (calling all well known parcel delivery companies and food chain suppliers!).
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72c
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2020, 10:06:07 am »

Did FGW run a parcels service from Pnz to Pad that ceased when the HST's went out service?
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Celestial
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2020, 10:37:46 am »

Did FGW run a parcels service from Pnz to Pad that ceased when the HST's went out service?
Didn't they transport fresh fish from Cornwall to London?
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eightf48544
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2020, 10:53:36 am »

Did FGW run a parcels service from Pnz to Pad that ceased when the HST's went out service?
Didn't they transport fresh fish from Cornwall to London?

I think it appeared on a Portillo programme with a fragile highly decorated cake being sent from PNZ to PAD.
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Thatcham Crossing
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2020, 12:19:52 pm »

Is this the rebirth of the Red Star parcels service that I remember (without knowing very much about it) from my youth?
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broadgage
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2020, 02:58:23 pm »

Is this the rebirth of the Red Star parcels service that I remember (without knowing very much about it) from my youth?

Don't think so, red star parcels were sent primarily via existing passenger trains, whereas this is a proposal to run a new service dedicated to carrying parcels.
It would be good to see a return of express parcels by passenger train, but of course new trains have no space "wasted" on a guards van in which such would be carried.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
Celestial
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2020, 06:10:46 pm »

Is this the rebirth of the Red Star parcels service that I remember (without knowing very much about it) from my youth?
but of course new trains have no space "wasted" on a guards van in which such would be carried.
Never an opportunity missed, eh?

Given the explosive growth in parcels traffic over the last few years, it makes environmental sense to create a new rail distribution network that can take the volumes they are no doubt hoping for.  With timings and capacity that suit the parcels company at both ends, and no delays to passenger services as crates are unloaded at intermediate stations (such as Doncaster, named in the report). 

And closer to home, imagine trying to load up a train with parcels at the same time as hordes of passengers are joining at Paddington.  And think of all those services which didn't have many or any parcels in them running around with wasted space.

But still, the good ol' days were always the best, weren't they? A fraction of the current services; Travellers Fare; even the strikes were better in those halcyon days, with Sid Weighell and Ray Buckton running the unions. 

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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2020, 07:55:20 pm »

I hope to see this service or something similar running in a few years.
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Waiting at Pilning for the midnight sleeper to Prague.
SandTEngineer
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2020, 08:20:43 pm »

Yes, as I said earlier, its something we should all be encouraging, not trying to put obstacles in the way.  They will have enough hoops to jump through as it is, to get it all up and running.
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Celestial
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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2020, 09:08:11 pm »

https://www.railadvent.co.uk/2020/03/exclusive-a-qa-with-varamis-rails-managing-director-ahead-of-new-parcel-rail-service.html

The attached link with a Q&A on the subject includes a further link to a short video presentation, which is also linked here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcfq57sBFY8

I really hope it succeeds.

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stuving
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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2020, 10:47:58 pm »

Third time lucky? We had GB Railfreight, and then Intermodality - so all three seem to be separate business proposals. Incidentally, Varamis the company is only a year old, and listed its business field as "Urban and suburban passenger railway transportation by underground, metro and similar systems". The hangover cure is a separate business, I think.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2020, 01:15:51 pm »

More info here: https://orion.railopsgroup.co.uk/
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