GERMAN Rail (DB) subsidiary DB Cargo UK has announced it will invest £2.6m at its facility in Toton near Nottingham, Britain, to allow Toyota to import and export a new generation of cars.

The investment includes the construction of a new vehicle storage compound and associated loading and unloading facilities on a disused section of the site adjacent to the existing paint shop and stores.

Subject to planning approval, a new service will start in January 2022 exporting hybrid Corolla cars manufactured at Toyota’s Derby plant to France and the Czech Republic. Toyota’s Aygo, Yaris and the new Yaris+ models will be imported on the return leg, to ensure full use of the new services.

Up to three trains per week are planned, each carrying up to 230 finished cars. Trains will be managed by STVA and hauled by DB Cargo subsidiaries, including Euro Cargo Rail (ECR) in France.

Toyota has built cars at Burnaston 25km from Toton since the early 1990s, but the new service will mark the first time the manufacturer has used rail to transport cars in Britain.

Toyota’s facility in Onnaing, near Valenciennes in France, where the Yaris is manufactured, is rail linked but is only served by a single a train each week. ECR is expected to take over the operation of this service at the same time the British train is launched.

Toyota builds its Aygo model at Kolin in the Czech Republic at a plant jointly run with French company PSA, which builds Peugeot and Citroën cars.