Michael Portillo's visit to Port of Immingham to unveil locomotive on TV
MICHAEL Portillo's visit to the Port of Immingham – a highlight of the 2012 centenary celebrations – was screened on national television this evening.
The high-profile former politician unveiled a locomotive commemorating the 100 years of the docks, as part of the Great British Railway Journeys series he has fronted. Filmed in April last year, it was aired at 6.30pm on BBC2.
The GB Railfreight engine was named Port Of Immingham Centenary 1912-2012, underlining the huge role the railways continue to play in the quayside operations, having been founded by the Great Central Railway.
At the time, Mr Portillo said: "It is a great pleasure to have been invited to the naming of this locomotive.
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"A hundred years ago the Port of Immingham was established by a company that saw an excellent opportunity to develop trade with all parts of Europe. This has since been extended to include locations around the globe.
"Railways were at their peak in 1912 and had been in terminal decline until the last decade or so when there has been something of a revival.
"It is important that we recognise the importance of both rail freight and passenger services to the country."
Coal is a core bulk cargo that leaves the UK's number one tonnage-handling port by train, heading to power stations such as Drax, in Yorkshire.
John Fitzgerald, port director for Associated British Ports at Grimsby and Immingham, said: "The relationship between port and rail has continued over the years, and now 25 per cent of the country's rail freight moves through Immingham.
"It is a link we are keen to strengthen in the future and the naming of this locomotive is one way of nurturing that relationship."