The objective is to only use 160km/h electric trains and to link the service to an electric road vehicle distribution system for collection and delivery of parcels and light goods. The objective is to offer a fast, reliable service which is safe and secure, has real-time tracking and offers comprehensive supply chain management.

“We want to keep it simple, and we are trying to be as carbon neutral as possible,” Mr Phil Read, Aramis Rail’s managing director, told IRJ.

The company has applied for a train operating licence and is developing a safety case. “We have had constructive discussions with Network Rail and we are talking to a rolling stock leasing company in order to obtain an electric train,” Read says. Varamis Rail will probably use a former passenger train which will be converted for parcels use.

Varamis Rail is looking for suitable terminals in London, Doncaster and Newcastle for the launch service. These could either be existing rail connected depots or passenger stations with direct road access to the platform.

Transit times from London of 2 hours to Doncaster and 3 hours to Newcastle are envisaged. “We want to prove the concept first before we extend the service to Edinburgh and Glasgow,” Read says.

Read says some private investors have already shown interest in the concept, but it is too early to determine how much it will cost to launch.