Daventry IRFT

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Daventry IRFT

Post by Steve Blick on Sun Sep 24, 2017 7:57 pm


Railport Approach


Farm Track
Watling Street
CV23 8YE

Opened in 1997 by HRH Princess Royal ( Anne ), the International Railfreight Terminal is the busiest intermodal interchange in the UK. Situated alongside the Rugby to Northampton line, the sidings are host to the Malcolm Group, with DRS supplying the haulage for their container trains.

In late August 2011, DIRFT II was opened, although this is on a much smaller scale than the original one. There is also a proposal for this to be extended further, this to be aptly named DIRFT III. Just the one pilot is used for the various terminals, although a mainline loco is likely to marshal its own trains at the smaller yards.

For freight times, use the Rugby timetable, available through the subsciption based Freightmaster website.


By Car - From junction 18 on the M1, follow the signs for the Railfreight terminal. At the first roundbout, take the first exit for the A428 to Daventry. Upon reaching the next one, continue straight over ( 2nd exit ). At the following roundabout, take the 1st exit and follow the signs for the A5 to Milton Keynes. Shortly after this, you will go over the Northampton line and 200 yards after the bridge, there is a layby where you can safely park. For head on views of both terminals, return back to the railway bridge. Binoculars or zoom lens will be required to indentify anything in the main yard though.
Alternatively, carry on past the layby and shortly after passing the Kilsby village sign, turn first left left into what will look like a single farm track. At the end of this road, park by the gate and follow the public footpath. This will eventually lead down towards the mainline, where one of pilots may be seen, as it shunts the wagons into the sidings. You may have a long wait for this though.

By Rail - Rugby and Long Buckby are the closest stations to the terminal. However, if wanting to travel by bus, both involve a good walk, several changes and a lot of money. The best option is for a return train jouney, where by passing the terminal, one or both pilots may be seen. This will cost approx £3.80.

Notes - Unless you have prior permission, it is not advisable to drive around the private estate at the IRFT. As the sidings are blocked by buildings, you will not see the shunters from here. You will also most likely to be stopped by security, who patrol the area on a regular basis.

The field, which lies adjacent to the terminal and the mainline, used to provide a good vantage point. However, a new fence has been erected, this now stopping anybody entering the private land. Due to the prosecution of two enthusiasts in 2011 for tresspassing, it is not advisable to enter the field via the metal gate, situated by the layby.

If using the farm track vantage point, please be aware that there is only room for one vehicle by the gate. Parking is virtually impossible on the road leading up to it, and the land by the gate is private. However, if you don't mind the walk, a layby is situated on Watling Street, this just a few 100 yards away from the turning. Strickly speaking, this is for people using the cemetery, but as long as it is empty, it should be still ok to park here.

Vantage Points - If using the car option, the railway bridge on the A5 should give you views of the active pilot. However, the one in the main terminal will only be a partial view, as it all depends on where it is stabled and if any containers are in the way.

If you are prepared to wait, then the public footpath option will not only give you a clear view of the shunter, but this spot is also an excellent photographic opportunty. The area is fairly open, giving you an unobstructed shot of the pilot, as it moves its train in and out of the terminal. It is worth pointing out though, that you will not be able to see into the terminal from here.

If travelling by train, one or both shunters could very well be hidden by containers. It is rare for both to be sighted at the same time by using this option.

Photos - View from the public footpath.
Photo kindly supplied by Alex Chaplin.

Maps - Road.
Birds eye.
Ordnance survey.

Current Allocation:

08445 - Yellow, blue and a green bodyside band. Has a yellow roof ( currently used for spares and is parked out of view between two buildings )
08823 - Yellow, blue and a green bodyside band. Has a blue roof

Steve Blick

Posts : 181
Join date : 2017-08-03

View user profile http://shunterspot.forumotion.com

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