Innovative Barking rail freight hub set for concrete future

The DB Cargo hub in Barking

The DB Cargo hub in Barking - Credit: Archant

An innovative freight rail hub set to handle 150,000 cars a year could be joined by a company producing thousands of tons of concrete.

The DB Cargo hub in Barking

The DB Cargo hub in Barking - Credit: Archant

DB Cargo’s London Eurohub is the UK’s first rail-linked facility of its type, connecting Barking with the UK and the rest of Europe, and will create up to 22 new jobs when it becomes fully operational.

Connected to both the country’s inter-city rail network and High Speed 1 (HS1) which goes through the Channel Tunnel, the terminal in Ripple Road helps deliver UK-made cars to the continent and European vehicles to cities and towns across the country.

And now concrete merchants Express Concrete Limited are set to create a rail-served concrete batching plant adjoining the site, which could handle 20,000 tons of aggregate a month, to be turned into concrete and driven away for use in construction.

The company handed in a planning application to Barking and Dagenham Council last month for which could also see the construction of associated storage bays, office and welfare facilities, car and HGV parking.

Although DB Cargo company declined to comment on the European Union (EU) referendum debate, the multi-million pound hub is an example of continental cooperation, having been co-financed by the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility.

The only inter-modal terminal within the M25, the use of rail means up to 70 per cent less CO2 is emitted than the road alternative.

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“I personally think it’s very exciting for Barking and Dagenham to have a facility like this,” said Matthew Johanson, head of automotive, chemicals and general freight at DB Cargo UK. “It’s the only facility of its kind.

“The UK car manufacturing industry is going from strength to strength so it’s good to be supporting our customers in delivering their corporate goals.”

The 34 acre-site – 10 acres for automotive use, the rest for warehousing and an intermodal terminal – is also operated by DB Cargo UK.

“The Eurohub is a truly innovative new offering to the automotive import and exports market,” Geoff Spencer, CEO of DB Cargo UK.

“It will bring huge benefits to our customers and the broader industry, enabling manufacturers to streamline their supply chain by offering a superior quality logistics service.”