High-speed parcel deliveries will soon be made by rail to satisfy a growing demand for faster freight.
Network Rail and distribution firm Orion showed how the concept works at Euston station earlier this week.
Former passenger trains are being converted to take goods directly into city centre stations.
As well as online retail, the flexible freight operation could transport other light goods needed in fast times by businesses.
Parcels would then see bicycle or van couriers take them for final delivery.
Daniel Fredriksson, Network Rail customer relationship executive, said: “While parcel trains are by no means a novel concept, more of us buying things online and efforts to get polluting vehicles off roads is revitalising rail as a cost effective and fast way to get goods to consumers and businesses quickly and efficiently.”
Karl Watts, chief executive officer for Orion, added: “Using converted, electrically powered passenger trains, Orion is able to deliver goods into terminal and other principal railway stations where electric road vehicles complete the final mile transportation into city centres.”
Some of the UK’s largest parcel carriers have expressed interest in using the new high-speed logistics service.
The first will start running later this year between the Midlands and Scotland.
More routes could be added in 2022 dependent on customer need and available train paths.