Representatives from Lancashire County Council paid a visit to a recently reopened railhead, which provides a “more environmentally friendly” means of hauling goods.

The Leyland railhead was reopened by the Fox Group in January, having not been used since 1997 prior to that, and marked the group’s expansion into rail.

The first train to use the line following its reopening arrived from Tunstead quarry near Buxton, Derbyshire, on January 9, and county councillors went to visit again on June 20 to witness the unloading of a freight train supplying aggregate to the local area.

The train delivered around 1,760 tonnes of MOT Type 1, which is generally used to form the sublayer for road surfaces and pathways.

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County Cllr Shaun Turner, cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: “This is a very positive step forward for Lancashire in terms of sustainability and in cutting carbon emissions, making for a much more environmentally friendly means of hauling products.

“Thanks to this forward thinking and sustainable initiative, material is now being delivered straight from the Freightliner train to customers via Fox Group’s wagons, keeping the tradition of the railhead going and boosting businesses right across Lancashire and the local economy.”

County Cllr Ron Woollam, chair of Lancashire County Development Ltd (LCDL), added: “We have been working closely with Fox Group to enhance their sustainability initiatives, and thanks to the restoration of this historic railhead link, more material is being delivered to our region in a much more efficient and green way.

“We are delighted that the railhead has been restored back to its intended purposes, with freight trains delivering concrete aggregates like gravel, sand, and crushed rock to Fox Group’s wagons at the railhead since the spring.”

Paul Fox, managing director of Fox Group, said: “Sustainability is high on our agenda and so being able to transport our aggregates in a much more sustainable way has been key.”