Another step was taken towards the ‘pan-European rationale” for rail-based logistics this week as Honda (UK) replaced 3,000 annual truck movements with a new train service from its Swindon facility.
Yesterday’s reopening of the rail head by the UK’s Rail Minister and Under Secretary of State, Lord Adonis, heralds the start of a new twice-weekly service that will carry Civics and CR-Vs to mainland Europe.
Each double-deck train will transport around 200 Swindon-built cars to Honda’s European Vehicle Logistics Operations in Gent, Belgium. Around 23,000 cars will be exported this way over the course of a year says the company. Up to 243 units can be moved on one train, which is the equivalent of 30 trucks. The switch to rail will therefore halve annual CO2 emissions on this route.
“We export Civics and CR-Vs built in Swindon to 60 countries across Europe,” said Simon Stacy, Manager – Logistics Operations at Honda Motor Europe. “The new rail service will not only deliver Honda cars into Europe faster, but will minimise the amount of trucks travelling in and out of the factory.”
The railhead, which links directly to the factory, has been developed jointly by Honda and Kilbride Group, which specialises in transport infrastructure development. STVA is supporting the logistics for Honda.
Each train will leave Swindon at approximately 4pm and arrive in Gent at 7am the next morning.

Honda (UK) already transports cars to Newcastle and Scotland by rail via Bristol.