1997: Safeway invests in a pilot scheme running non food goods from DIRFT in the Midlands to Bellshill in Scotland. Like Tesco it received grant funding from the Scottish Executive and the Strategic Rail Authority to the tune of £1.5m.

1997-98: Sainsbury's begins trialling the distribution of goods by rail and launches

a regular service moving its own brand Scottish mineral water from East Kilbride

to Dagenham in Essex.

2003: Asda launches a once-a-day, six-

days-a-week service transporting a mixed cargo of ambient goods and clothing.

The service runs from DIRFT to Grangemouth. The retailer also starts operating a second train from Grangemouth to Aberdeen.

2003: Tesco kicks off its new freight delivery programme trial running goods from the docks to DIRFT and then from DIRFT to Scotland with the stated aim of eventually moving all goods within Scotland via rail.

2006: Sainsbury's starts moving some of its beers, spirits and wines via rail from Rugby and Corby to Scotland. Tesco launches a green train with the help of a £200,000 Freight Facilities Grant from the Scottish Executive and £235,000 from the Department for Transport.