While high-cube containers can be accommodated on the route, they currently require low-floor wagons of which there is a limited supply. Low-floor wagons are also more expensive to operate and maintain.

NR is working in partnership with the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership and North Lincolnshire Council to invest more than £15m to support the growth of rail freight in the region.

The project involves 29 “interventions” including platform alterations at stations and trackside works. Three road bridges will be replaced, and work will also be carried out underneath the bridge which carries the railway over the A18 highway.

“The northern Lincolnshire ports are an essential part of the freight network and this improved route will allow onward distribution from Doncaster to Scotland, the Midlands and beyond,” says NR route managing director, Mr Rob McIntosh. “This in turn will support the growth of local businesses at the ports and in the distribution network as well as preventing the need for goods to be transported on the road network.”