£550m landmark rail hub plans at ‘crossroads’


The fate of a major new rail freight hub valued at £550 million is in the hands of the Planning Inspectorate. 

Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange 
Credit: Tritax Symmetry.

Developer Tritax Symmetry wants to build Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange (HNRFI) on a 440-acre site between Hinckley and the village of Elmesthorpe, in Leicestershire.    

The landmark plans, which emerged in February, will first be examined by the government agency before a recommendation is made to the secretary of state for transport. 

The development would span more than 9 million sq ft and connect to Leicester and Birmingham rail lines.  

A new slip road on to the M69 is also proposed.   

And despite claims by the developer – the logistics development arm of FTSE 250 company Tritax Big Box REIT plc – that it could create more than 8,000 jobs, the scheme has seen pushback over its scale.    

A public consultation has now concluded.   

HNRFI is located between the West Coast Main Line and the East Coast Main Line, on Network Rail’s Strategic Freight line, connecting the deep-sea ports of Felixstowe and London Gateway to the midlands and the north. 

The scheme is considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). 

A decision is expected in early 2024.  

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