MIRP launch railhead expansion

Graeme Thomsonblog

Mossend International Railfreight Park (MIRP) has officially launched their expanded Railhead project at their Bellshill Railhead, marking a major investment for North Lanarkshire’s economy. MIRP provides round-the-clock, round-the-year access to state-of-the-art intermodal transport facilities, operating as an “inland port”, handling the transfer of cargo from rail onto truck. MIRP will put Scotland at the forefront of a Europe-wide logistics network and is a game changer in the rail logistics business.

The family business, which has been delivering logistics for over 140 years, marked this exciting milestone with a team of Clydesdale horses hauling a traditional horse lorry across the newly completed M8 bridge, which links directly to the MIRP site. This reflected the origins of the business which started using horse-drawn carriages as a coal merchant and carrier in Glasgow. The company, which has worked in rail transport for 85 years, invited key partners and businesses from across the UK to join them at a reception where the celebrated the launch of the project and highlighted its ambition to become a leading provider of low carbon logistics for the UK putting, Scotland at the forefront of a Europe-wide logistics network.

David Stirling, PD Stirling Ltd (who own MRIP) said,

“This is an exciting day for us as we launch Mossend International Railfreight Park. It is a significant milestone for low carbon logistics for the UK, creating more opportunities for railfreight, both into and out of the very heart of Scotland. We will continue to work closely with North Lanarkshire Council, our local communities and the Scottish Government to ensure that we deliver a truly modern, strategic rail facility in central Scotland which connects the country to the UK and Europe.

This project will also transform the local community in Lanarkshire, bringing jobs, local investment and a sustainable green legacy for Bellshill, by incorporating a network of community greenspace. Crucially, this will help Scotland lead the world in providing a lower cost, efficient and more sustainable alternative, to long haul road transport.”

Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, who attended the launch said:

The Mossend International Railfreight Park marks an exciting chapter for the delivery of sustainable transport in central Scotland. Not only will MIRP play an important role developing Central Scotland’s freight infrastructure, it will also support sustainable economic growth within the region and help to deliver our ambitious plans for the future of rail and freight.

“The Scottish Government are committing record levels of investment in rail as part of our £5 billion package of transformative improvements to infrastructure and services in Scotland’s railways up until 2019.

“In addition the £30 million Scottish Strategic Rail Freight Investment Fund (2014-2019) is supporting the industry as it looks towards unlocking the capacity and capability of the rail freight network in support of growth and capitalising on new market opportunities.”

MIRP Facts and figures:

  • the expanded Railhead will include 775m sidings of international standard
  • there will be 200,000m² (2.2m sqft) of onsite storage, distribution, service and logistics facilities
  • over the 10 last years the railhead has saved 11mt of CO2 by receiving 1.4m tonnes of bulk cement by rail as opposed to road
  • it will provide a lower cost, efficient and more sustainable alternative, to long haul road transport
  • it will improve access and delivery times for businesses moving goods
  • it will remove a significant amount of HGV traffic from the local road network
  • it currently handles 10 trains a week, with freight including imported road vehicles for their tenants STVA logistics, Hanson Cement and Ibstock Brick
  • it has the potential to provide up to 4,900 construction and operational jobs
  • it will provide a sustainable green legacy for Bellshill, which will incorporate a network of community greenspace
  • run by David and Andrew Stirling – the fourth generation to manage the business, Peter D Stirling are one of the most respected, successful and experienced low carbon logistics businesses in the UK