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New CEMEX rail route between South Wales and North East

10th March 2010: 2010 has seen the start of a new rail route for the transportation of aggregates by CEMEX, the building materials provider. The route from Neath in South Wales to the CEMEX railhead at Sturton, near Leeds in West Yorkshire is used to transport high psv (polished stone value) aggregate quarried from CEMEX’s Gilfach Quarry.

The new route has the potential to transport 150,000 tonnes per annum of Gilfach’s Blue Pennant sandstone, which has a psv of 68, the highest natural psv aggregate available. This superior aggregate is used in high specification asphalt applications, such as in the M4 extension at junctions 32 – 34 in 2008, which used 75% sandstone from Gilfach plus 25% recycled aggregates.

The first train of 1700 tonnes pulled 24 hoppers each containing approximately 70 tonnes of aggregate, in total equivalent to 85 lorry loads. CO2 emissions from rail are five times lower per tonne transported compared to road, with the added advantage that using rail also helps reduce traffic on the roads.

From Stourton, aggregates will be distributed not only to CEMEX asphalt and readymix concrete plants within a 20 mile radius but also to individual building contractors for projects in the North East.

CEMEX transports aggregates and pulverised fly-ash by 15 different routes covering over 6 million train rail miles. In 2009 this represented over 18 million lorry miles that were replaced by rail transportation and represented 12% of total aggregate movements.

In 2010 four new rail routes are planned including Neath to railheads at Washwood Heath in Birmingham and Bletchley near Milton Keynes. The increase in rail is part of a national strategy to make all grades of aggregates available by rail or water throughout the CEMEX network.


Notes to editors:

  • CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high-quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries throughout the world
  • In the UK, as well as ready mixed concrete, cement and aggregates, CEMEX also produces asphalt, and has a significant share of the roof tile, rail sleepers, concrete-block paving, and concrete-block segments. CEMEX has a national supply network in the UK to ensure that quality building materials are available to customers locally. For more information, see or
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