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Coatbridge Freightliner Terminal

Located at Gartsherrie, a half-mile (1 km) north northwest of Coatbridge in North Lanarkshire, the Coatbridge Freightliner Terminal is a modest intermodal freight depot which provides a rail connection with the UK's principal seaports.

Freightliner is an American-owned rail-freight and logistics company which was created in 1995 encompassing the container trans-shipment business of the former state-owned British Railways.

The Freightliner terminal extends to 8 ha (20 acres), occupying the policies of the former Gartsherrie House, which had been the home of coal-owner and iron-master William Baird (1796 - 1864). The terminal comprises eight railway sidings, served by overhead gantry cranes, which transfer shipping containers between lorries and railway cars. The M8 motorway is located 2 miles (3 km) to the south, providing access to Scotland's principal cities.

Opened in 1968, Coatbridge is the only remaining of four similar facilities in Scotland, designed as part of a nationwide network of intermodal depots supported by the 75mph liner train system, which came about as a recommendation of the Beeching Report in 1963 to try to bring domestic freight back onto the railways in the face of growing competition from road transport. The domestic freightliner service was failing in the 1980s and depots in Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh were all closed. A revitalised service evolved to handle international traffic from ship to national rail to road transportation and vice versa. Scottish whisky exports are a key component of rail operations at Coatbridge.

Regular train services connect Coatbridge terminal with Britain's five principal deep-water sea ports (Felixstowe, Liverpool, London Thamesport, Southampton and Tilbury), together with the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal in Northamptonshire. In addition to Freightliner's own services, the terminal currently also handles trains for Direct Rail Services Ltd.


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