Multi-million-pound rail investment at the Port of Southampton to enhance container offering

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Clive Thomas, Commercial Director at Solent Stevedores; Sean Scully, Business Development and Compliance Director at Ryebridge Construction; Stuart Cullen, Executive Chairman of Solent Stevedores; Zak McElvenny, Health Safety and Compliance Director at Solent Stevedores; Andrew Hallam, Engineering Programme Manager at ABP, and Richard Powell, Rail Operations Manager at Solent Stevedores.

Associated British Ports (ABP), the UK’s leading ports group and Solent Stevedores have announced a joint investment of £17.5 million in a new container offering for deep sea shipping lines at the Port of Southampton. 

The project will create an 18-acre facility, which will link the existing intermodal rail transport site with laden and empty container handling, storage, maintenance and repair within a single site boundary - a first for the Port of Southampton. Due for completion in late 2023, the project broke ground in the Western Docks with contractors, Ryebridge Construction.

This investment will further strengthen the rail offering for customers at the Port of Southampton giving them greater choice over their container placement and storage. The project involves several site upgrades, including the introduction of 84 reefer plug points, extending the rail loading pad by 150 metres and a new track design to allow trains arrive and depart at the terminal independently on any of the three lines.

By increasing the capacity for cargo to enter and leave the port by rail this latest investment supports long-term plans for accelerating improvements in local air quality. The work will take place across three stages to enable the rail terminal to continue operating.

Stuart Cullen, Executive Chairman of Solent Stevedores, said: “This is a significant project for us and the latest phase of investment for the Solent Rail Terminal. We continue to upgrade and enhance our rail operations and infrastructure in partnership with the port to support the growth of cargo movement by rail and air quality initiatives.”

Alastair Welch, Regional Director at the Port of Southampton, said: “This investment not only enhances our containers customer offer, it is also part of the Port of Southampton’s multimodal strategy into the future and our commitment to help improve air quality in the local area.”