A PORT operator is building a £3m rail terminal as it looks to increase work across the country.

PD Ports has agreed a service with Freightliner to create a terminal at Teesport.

Work on the development is expected to start this month.

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Bosses say it will strengthen connections between Teesport, Felixstowe and Southampton, as well as deliver potential new routes to Scotland, the Midlands and the North-West.

The terminal comes after PD Ports invested £16.7m to expand its container terminal in 2011.

David Robinson, PD Ports’ group chief executive, said: “We are delighted Freightliner will support the new rail terminal.

“We have invested significantly in expanding the services available at the port and the arrival of Freightliner will provide a greater level of service options.”

Freightliner will switch services to Teesport from Wilton, near Redcar, once the terminal is finished.

Adam Cunliffe, Freightliner’s managing director, added: “We have a long-established site at Wilton with a dedicated and committed workforce.

“Unfortunately, we have found it increasingly difficult to attract volume through the site in the face of a strong feeder alternative via Teesport.

“Volume levels through Wilton have reduced substantially during the recession and the site can no longer compete effectively.

“The move to Teesport will increase the opportunity for containers to be moved by rail.”