Trial sees timber transporter swap trucks for rail

A six-week trial moving timber by train rather than on lorries has started in the Highlands. Three trains a week are to be run, transporting about 6,000 tonnes of timber - the equivalent of 250 lorry loads. The trial will see timber moved from Caithness to Inverness.

Victa Railfreight has been given ?195,000 from the Scottish government's Strategic Rail Freight Fund to run the trial. The project will test the operation of the trains, timber loading and load securing to help create a "best practice" model for transporting timber by rail in future. Over the course of the trial, loading points at Thurso in Caithness, Lairg in Sutherland and Kyle of Lochalsh in Wester Ross could be used.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: "The trial will help to demonstrate that the movement of timber in Scotland by rail is possible as well as efficient and, it will provide confidence to both the timber and rail freight industries to develop permanent and sustainable solutions to meet market needs."

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