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Aerial photo of Tesco building at Dirft II

Tesco commits to rail

1 April 2011

Tesco has announced that it will be opening its 840,000 sq ft rail-connected distribution centre at Prologis’ DIRFT II site this summer. The new facility will significantly increase Tesco’s use of rail to transport goods in the UK and the company’s decision to expand its operations at the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT) is a strong endorsement of Prologis’ rail freight strategy.

Aerial photo The new distribution centre, which has been designed to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ accreditation and a high EPC ‘A’ rating, has separate road and rail operations. It has three rail reception lines and a slab that will accommodate either reach stackers or rubber-tyred gantry cranes.

It is anticipated that Tesco will start its operation at the new distribution centre with two to three trains daily, building up to a potential eight trains a day. Tesco estimates that once the new warehouse is fully operational, the rail facilities will allow it to take almost 100,000 lorry journeys off the roads every year, supporting the company’s commitment to becoming a zero carbon business by 2050.

Tony Fletcher, Regional corporate Affairs Manager at Tesco said: "Not only does the new site provide the space we need to support the future growth of our grocery range, it also delivers major environmental benefits due to its location and on-site rail infrastructure. It will significantly reduce the number of lorries on the roads, saving around 14 million road miles and 19,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year."

DIRFT II is the second phase of the Daventry International Rail Terminal - the UK’s leading Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) - which is located beside the M1 motorway and the West Coast Mainline railway. DIRFT II offers a further 2 million sq ft of warehouse and industrial facilities, all of which will have direct rail connections from the existing DIRFT reception sidings.

The two remaining plots at DIRFT II are attracting more potential occupiers who are interested in the opportunities presented by rail-connected distribution facilities. Subject to planning, it is currently proposed that a third phase, DIRFT III will provide a further 7.5 million sq ft of space together with a new intermodal terminal.

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