In support of the UK Government and Rail Delivery Group’s commitment to green transport investment, The Office of Rail & Road (ORR) has issued a Freight Operating Licence to Varamis Rail.
Offering the UK a zero-emission sustainable alternative to parcel logistics, from Autumn 2022 Varamis will be launching its first fully-electric, express rail freight service connecting Glasgow & Birmingham.
The business model is simple: Re-purposed passenger trains capable travelling at 100mph+ and utilising existing rail infrastructure to ensure the ‘trunk’ mileage of parcel logistics can be achieved both efficiently and with zero carbon impact. Within the first 3-years of operation, it is estimated nearly 40,000 tonnes of co² can be mitigated through a fully utilised Varamis 12-car service operating on a national programme.
Varamis Rail Managing Director, Phil Read said: “The team at Varamis Rail are delighted to be granted our Freight Operating License, which now makes us the UKs newest and greenest train operator. It’s been quite a journey for the whole team since 2020 and I am very proud of the shared determination, endeavour, and passion to bring a cleaner, greener & speedier rail service to the freight & logistics sectors.
“We are now working even harder to run our first fully-electric rail logistics service from mid-October between Glasgow & Birmingham; Monday to Friday, 5-nights per week.”
Going on to thank the ORR, Phil added: “The ORR has been a great help throughout this rigorous process and we would particularly like to acknowledge the support and guidance we receive from our legal team at Stephenson Harwood. There’s also a special mention to Richard Allen, our Insurance Broker at Jobson James Rail, for arranging all of our 3rd Party Liability insurance to meet the required standards stipulated by the ORR, a very intensive process in itself.
“Varamis Rail will be signing a lease to acquire its first train in time for its October launch; a fully-electric, former passenger train re-purposed with a sole focus on delivering the UKs first high-speed and green logistics service. An extensive trial, operating services between Glasgow & Birmingham, will allow new customers to build confidence in Varamis Rail and expansion plans include additional re-purposed trains coming into the fleet to serve London from May 2023.
“With commercial businesses now actively seeking viable and proven logistics alternatives in support of Environment & Social Governance (ESG) demands, the launch of this truly zero carbon service will be a real boost to ESG reporting objectives.”
Photo credit: Varamis Rail