Trains “full of wine” are expected to deliver millions of bottles to supermarkets across the country just in time for Christmas, Metro reports.
Dedicated weekly trains will run between now and Christmas Day to ensure supermarket shelves stay stocked with alcohol this holiday season.
Imported wine would normally be delivered by truck drivers, but due to a shortage of truck drivers, freight trains are used to avoid shortages.
Network Rail provided additional capacity for freight trains to transport some 4.5 million bottles from UK ports to supermarkets.
The first of them, carrying around 643,000 bottles, would have left the port of Tilbury on Sunday for a depot in Daventry, Northamptonshire.
From there, the wine will be delivered to major supermarkets, including Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
A train will then repeat the journey every week until December 19.
Network Rail said it is also working with other freight carriers, ports and trade organizations to ensure Christmas food and other cargo is delivered on time.
Line capacity to and from Felixstowe has increased from 37 to 40 services per day and has reduced the disruption caused by engineering work on the Fenland Road from the port.
The organization is also working with operators to deliver longer, heavier trains to carry more freight at a time.
John Smith, managing director of GB RailFreight, which is one of the operators helping deliver the goods, said the company was working “around the clock to protect Christmas deliveries.”
He said, “We are moving more boxes than ever thanks to the dedication of our employees and greater cooperation from the industry. “
Another operator, Freightliner, said: “We are working to provide additional rail services on weekends to move freight in time for Christmas.
“We are discussing extending these weekend services throughout 2022 to drive more road traffic to rail, which will help alleviate supply chain challenges.”
In October, the government brought in Sir Dave Lewis, former chief executive of Tesco, to help tackle the shortages.
It came in the wake of warnings that supply chain issues could impact Christmas favorites like turkeys, gifts and even pigs in blankets.
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