News Archive

Rail operations re-established at Long Marston

Rail traffic has returned to the site of the former Central Engineers Depot at Long Marston, near Stratford-upon-Avon, re-establishing a rail link with the Oxford-Worcester line that has not been used for a decade.

St Modwen Developments, which acquired the 478-acre site last year, has let a 2,415 sq m ( 26,000 sq ft) rail-connected warehouse to Porterbrook, a company specialising in leasing all types of railway rolling stock to passenger and freight operating rail companies, for the storage of rolling stock, spares and parts.

Porterbrook, which plans to centralise its off lease rolling stock from various locations countrywide in secure storage at Long Marston, leases stock to the passenger train operating companies and to the freight operating companies.

Peter Robbins, of St Modwen, said: “This is a significant point in the 60-year history of the site as the letting represents the first step in the re-establishment of Long Marston as an operational rail site.

“It is ten years since the last train went into the site. The current planning consent for the site has traffic restriction and the local planning authority would like to see the rail access and rail sidings brought back into use to serve industry on the site rather than have more lorry traffic using the local road network.”

St Modwen and rail logistics specialists Motorail Logistics are jointly to exploit the rail potential at Long Marston. Motorail has been appointed to operate the railway and to maintain and develop the infrastructure. At full potential the Long Marston site will accommodate more than 400 vehicles.

Mr Robbins said that the Long Marston site, which was bought from the Defence Estates for £12 million, is being run for income in the short term, pending the agreement of a redevelopment strategy with the local authority.

Threequarters of the industrial buildings at Long Marston are let by St Modwen to a range of national and local occupiers including Christian Salvesen, Jet Logistics and CPD.

Ian Pritchard, head of communications for Porterbrook, said: “It is important that we have a safe and secure location for our valuable, off-lease assets and spares. We believe the Long Marston site will provide us with a central, single-location storage facility which is strategically positioned to provide our customers with an improved service.”

* The former Central Engineers Depot was opened at Long Marston in 1941 and by the end of the war a major hutted camp had been established. Further construction took place including barrack blocks and offices during the 1960s.

An extensive network of rail lines was constructed outside and inside the depot, of which 35 km still exist and a link remains to the Oxford-Worcester line at Honeybourne for rail freight traffic.

For further information contact Peter Robbins of St Modwen (0121 222 9400). Issued by Paul Raymer of Howle Chapman Raymer (0121-236-7771).