Honda begins rail exports from Swindon factory

October 11, 2008

Honda’s car factory in Swindon has begun exporting cars by rail to allow faster transportation of vehicles and reduce the associated environmental impact.

Almost 3,000 trucks a year will be taken off the road following the re-opening of an existing rail head next to the Honda of the UK Manufacturing site at Swindon. Replacing trucks with trains will halve the annual CO2 emissions for one of the key deliveries into Europe.

The rail head was officially opened by Rail Minister, Under-Secretary of State, Lord Andrew Adonis.

Up to two trains a week will run from the rail head, with each service transporting over 200 Swindon-built cars to Honda’s European Vehicle Logistics Operations in Gent, Belgium. It’s estimated around 23,000 cars will be exported this way over the course of a year.

Simon Stacy, manager – logistics operations at Honda Motor Europe said: “We export Civics and CR-Vs built in Swindon to 60 countries across Europe. The new rail head and the service it allows will not only deliver Honda cars into Europe faster, but will minimise the amount of trucks travelling in and out of the factory.”

The new rail freight terminal links directly to the Honda facility, and has been developed by Kilbride Group. Vehicle logistics company STVA operates the movement service for Honda.

“This new rail option achieves operational improvements combined with quality service delivery,” said Ian Brown, managing director of STVA. “It demonstrates that rail can meet a transport logistics challenge while simultaneously minimising environmental impact.”

Colin Banyard, chairman of Kilbride Group commented: “We are delighted to have provided the infrastructure to enable Honda to move cars by rail through the Channel Tunnel to mainland Europe. The Kilbride Swindon Terminal represents another investment in rail freight infrastructure on behalf of a major industrial customer by the Kilbride Group, following on from the Jaguar Castle Bromwich facility.

“Kilbride has carried out both these projects with Legal and General, which are the first two within the £150m Sustainable Development fund set up with Legal and General in April 2007.

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