Passenger Trains Repurposed to Deliver Parcels into City Centres

High-speed parcel deliveries to city centres will soon be made by converted passenger trains.

Orion logistics train on test run to Euston station

At Euston station this week, Network Rail and distribution firm Orion showcased the concept with a Class 319 passenger train that has been converted to a Class 76.

The train has been fully re-fitted for logistics use and can accommodate roll cages, pallets and other customer-identified vessels or containers, and each carriage can fit approximately the same amount of goods as one articulated lorry.

It’s now also a bi-mode train with diesel engines, which allows it to use both electrified and non-electrified routes.

As well as faster delivery times – travelling up to 100mph, twice the average speed as road traffic – the converted trains are cleaner than air and road haulage, can access city centres unlike larger scale rail freight or air, and are easy to load and unload on to modes of transport for the first and last mile of delivery.