THE first phase of a £2.6m new intermodal rail terminal has opened on the banks of the River Tees.
The Tees Riverside Intermodal Park (TRIP) is the initial part of a £10m investment by logistics company AV Dawson in a 25% increase in the capacity of its container business in Middlesbrough.
The new terminal links directly with the East Coast Main Line and Dawson’s existing freight facilities, including its Ayrton Railhead, North Sea Supply Base and Dawson’s Wharf quays on the adjacent River Tees. Its sidings can handle trains carrying up to 80 containers at once, with 54,000 square metres of operational area and storage for up to 1,200 loaded containers.
Dawson, which now has accreditation to handle goods for transportation through the Channel Tunnel, received £1.2m towards the development from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF).
The funds are expected to create 32 jobs, 10 of which have been filled, and to safeguard a further 150 positions.
Gary Dawson, managing director of AV Dawson, said: “The new intermodal rail terminal is just one part of our extensive growth plans and it’s fantastic to see the vision we have for the company start to become a reality.
“The RGF funding will have a tremendous, positive impact on our company, on the wider supply chain and make an important jobs contribution on Teesside.
“From our perspective, the terminal further strengthens our ability to move goods quickly and efficiently and save our customers money in the process.”
Dawsons has also bought a further six acres of Network Rail land next to the TRIP terminal to expand its container facilities. The terminal is next to the £3.2m deepwater quay project that is currently under way to increase the quays from 4m to 8.5m and extend its length by 150m.
Dawsons is expanding to cope with increasing demand from the buoyant subsea energy sector and it is moving towards an around-the-clock presence at the quayside.
Dawson said: “The offshore sector is starting to recognise the North Sea Supply Base as one of the premier facilities on the East Coast.
“We are experiencing an unprecedented level of enquiries for quayside and associated warehousing and open storage land and a lot of these are related to the energy markets, both traditional oil and gas, and more recently in renewable energy, particularly relating to offshore wind.”