The £45m 3.2km link will enable coal trains travelling from the Humber ports to reach power stations in the Aire Valley without traversing a section of the busy East Coast Main Line (ECML). On a typical weekday around 30 coal trains link the port of Immingham with power stations at Eggborough and Ferrybridge.
The centrepiece of the project is a 246m-long six-span viaduct at Shaftholme, which will carry freight trains across the ECML connecting the Grimsby – Doncaster and Doncaster – Knottingley lines.
The current layout of the junctions means coal trains are forced to travel via a 23km stretch of the ECML between Doncaster and Hambleton Junction near Selby.
The first revenue-earning service (pictured below) ran on June 1 and was operated by Freightliner.