Devon

Disused Devon freight line to transport timber to Wales

A disused freight line has been reopened in Devon.

The four-mile (6.4km) stretch between Newton Abbot and Heathfield will be used to transport timber from Devon to north Wales.

Kronospan, which manufactures chipboard products, will transport the timber it produces in Teignbridge to its headquarters near Wrexham.

The firm worked with Network Rail, Devon County Council and Colas Rail Freight to reopen the line.

The weekly freight train, consisting of 14 wagons, will carry about 600 tonnes of timber.

Patrick Hallgate from Network Rail said rail freight could offer businesses a cheaper, quicker and more practical alternative to moving goods by road.

"Without the railway, the anticipated growth in freight traffic over the next 30 years would mean an extra 1.5m lorry journeys on Britain's roads each year," he said.

"Each freight train can take about 60 lorries off the roads and by shifting traffic from already congested roads to rail will bring greater future benefits."

Simon Ball from Colas Rail Freight said collaborating with the county council and Network Rail had made it possible to get the disused terminal back into working order within a matter of weeks.

"The branch has not seen a train for many years and needed to be capable of taking freight trains again," he said.

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