Track Record

Track Record

David Spaven, the Principal of Deltix, has worked in freight consultancy in the rail and intermodal sectors since 1995, following an 18-year management career with British Rail. He has extensive experience of market research, feasibility studies and strategic analysis in Scotland, England and Wales, including the key projects listed below.

Timber and forest products:

Far North Line Timber Trial Report

Editing the detailed report on the planning, operation and outcomes of the timber train trial between Georgemas Junction and Inverness in September 2020.

Victa Railfreight Ltd (2020)

Branchliner Plus Study 

Analysis of rail operations options for proposed movement of Flow Country timber by rail from Kinbrace to Inverness, including terminal design and rail haulage issues.

HITRANS (2015)

Crianlarich Timber Railhead Feasibility Study

Project Manager for review of demand, supply and grant aid issues for an upgraded or newly constructed timber railhead at Crianlarich on the West Highland Line.

Forestry Commission (2011-12)

Wales Forest Products Transport Mapping Study: 

Evaluation of timber transport flows and infrastructure barriers, and assessment of opportunities for new rail freight terminals and services

IBI Group / Wales Timber Transport Group (2004)


Reconnecting the Keith & Dufftown Railway

Assessment of freight opportunities, in particular whisky and bulk spirit, arising from potential reconnection of the Keith & Dufftown heritage railway to the main line network.

Douglas Binns Ltd / HITRANS (2018)

Highland Spring: Rail Freight Feasibility Study

Business, grant aid, engineering and operational analysis of a proposed rail freight facility directly serving the Blackford plant and potentially handling Third Party traffic from the surrounding catchment area.

Highland Spring Limited / TACTRAN (2008-9)

Highland Spring: Rail Freight Pre-feasibility Study

Analysis of core supply and demand issues, including site footprint and grant aid eligibility, for direct rail connection to the Blackford (Perthshire) bottled water plant.

Highland Spring Limited (2008)

Bulk Materials:

Lochinvar Coking Coal Rail Freight Scoping Study 

Project Manager for multi-disciplinary study of rail access to proposed deep mine north of Gretna, including evaluation of train services to customers and assessment of the engineering, operational and market implications of eight railhead site options.

New Age Exploration Ltd (2014)

Rockware Glass Pre-feasibility Study

Analysis of demand, supply and grant aid potential for the development of rail freight facilities to serve the Rockware Glass plant in Irvine.

Rockware Glass / Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire (2007)

Scottish Quarries Rail Connection Study

Pre-feasibility study of the prospects for rail connection at 22 Scottish quarry sites, including assessment of capital cost implications and rail network capacity and capability issues.

Reid Rail Ltd / Border Geo-Science (2005)

Overview of Winsford Rock Salt Mine Rail Feasibility

A pre-feasibility study of demand and supply issues for a new rail connection, including a comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of alternative sites on the West Coast Main Line and the Sandbach-Northwich branch line.

Salt Union Ltd (2003)

Alton-Shotton Recovered Paper

Pre-feasibility and feasibility studies of proposed rail movement of recovered paper from Hampshire to the Shotton paper mill, including assessment of Government grant aid prospects for new rail facilities.

UPM-Kymmene Ltd (2002)


Midnight Train to Georgemas

Appraisal of opportunities for parcels / small freight as part of a proposed Caithness-Central Scotland sleeper train service.

Reference Economic Consultants / HITRANS (2018)

Ayrshire Intermodal Railhead Scoping Study

Review of the scope for creation of a regional intermodal railhead for Ayrshire, utilising and enhancing existing rail freight facilities at the Caledonian Paper mill in Irvine.

Ironside Farrar / Irvine Bay Regeneration (2015)

Mossend International Railfreight Park Briefing

Provision of generic and site-specific briefing for witness to planning hearing on proposed rail freight development at Mossend, Lanarkshire.

PD Stirling Ltd (2014)

Girvan Intermodal Railhead Project Development 

Project Manager for development of project through to point of issue of tender documents for construction – including securing road construction consent, planning permission and Network Rail approvals; business case refinement and preparation of Freight Facilities Grant application.

Ailsa Horizons (2009-12)

Grangestone (Girvan) Intermodal Railhead

Review of concept, business case and grant aid eligibility for new intermodal railhead principally serving Nestle and Wm Grant’s grain distillery

Girvan Horizons (2008)

Freight Facilities Grant for Port of Grangemouth Intermodal Railhead

Preparation of planned grant application for enhanced intermodal railhead for domestic, European and Deep Sea container traffic

Forth Ports (2006)

Enhancement of Port of Grangemouth Intermodal Railhead

Feasibility study of options for enhancing and expanding Forth Ports' railhead for container traffic, as part of a planned multi-modal freight hub development

Reid Rail Ltd / Forth Ports (2005)

Multi-commodity (site-specific):

Raiths Farm (Dyce) Rail Freight Terminal: Study of Rail Demand and Land Requirement:

A review of the case – from a rail freight demand and supply perspective – for releasing areas of land adjacent to the Raiths Farm terminal from their zoning for ‘transport’ use in the Aberdeen Local Plan.

Hammerson / Union Square Developments (2020)

Raith’s Farm Railhead: Study of Rail Demand and Land Requirement

Project Manager for study of land requirements around the Raith’s Farm (Aberdeen) freight railhead in relation to long-term demand for rail freight in the wider Aberdeen area / Grampian region and available freight capacity at other existing railheads .

Hammerson (2012)

Thornhill, Eastriggs & Beattock Stations Freight Appraisal

Assessment of freight opportunities as part of STAG Part 1 Appraisals of passenger stations at Thornhill, Eastriggs and Beattock.

Allan Rail Solutions / SWESTRAN (2016)

Hawkhead (Paisley) Rail Sidings Scoping Study

Initial study of business, operating and engineering implications of establishing rail sidings to serve the BASF plant on Hawkhead Road, Paisley.

BASF / Scottish Enterprise (2010

Multi-modal Freight Hub Pre-feasibility Study

Investigation of options for a multi-modal freight hub location on Scotland's east coast to allow a major player in the bulk handling and processing sector to take advantage of sea and rail services as well as road haulage.


Dundee Port Freight Railhead Study: 

Feasibility study of the scope for direct rail access to Dundee Port, including demand issues, engineering analysis of alternative track connection options, business case assessment and grant aid eligibility.

Scottish Enterprise Tayside (2008)

Montrose Freight Connectivity Study

Multi-modal study of freight transport problems and opportunities for Montrose area freight users and suppliers, with particular reference to the Port of Montrose, providing recommendations on potential public sector interventions.

Angus Council (2007)

Rail Freight Connection to Chapelcross Site: 

Analysis of market and operational implications in preliminary appraisal of the feasibility of rail freight connection to a planned industrial development on part of the former Chapelcross nuclear power station site.

Reid Rail Ltd / Scottish Enterprise Dumfries & Galloway (2007)

Multi-commodity (regional / national studies):

Rail for All: Developing a Vision for Railway Investment in Scotland

A report setting out a costed vision for the expansion and upgrade of the railway network in Scotland during the 2020-30 period, in response to the Climate Emergency – informing the discussion on the ongoing Strategic Transport Projects Review 2 and catalysing a modal shift from road to rail.

John Finnie MSP, Scottish Green Party (2020)

Scottish Rail Freight Opportunities

Overview of opportunities for rail freight in Scotland for the UK's leading private rail wagon hire company.

VTG Rail UK (2020)

Rail Freight in Clackmannanshire

Pre-feasibility study of demand and supply aspects of the scope for development of freight railheads and/or private company sidings along the Stirling-Alloa-Kincardine railway, scheduled to re-open for through freight trains in 2008.

Clackmannanshire Council (2007-8)

Outline Business Case & Pre-feasibility Study for Rail Freight Facilities in Tayside

Study focusing on market analysis, first-scope technical analysis, and assessment of grant aid eligibility for rail freight facilities at Dundee Port, Montrose and Perth Harbour.

Scottish Enterprise Tayside (2007)

Scottish Rail Freight Applications of the Non-intrusive Rail Crossover (NICS) System

Analysis of the potential applications of, and commercial demand for, NICS within the wider Scottish rail freight industry, including stakeholder consultation.

NICSCo & Scottish Enterprise (2006)d

Business Opportunities for the Marine Transport of Timber in Scotland

Identification of the nature and scale of new opportunities for waterborne transport of timber, taking into account fiscal, logistical and other obstacles.

Scottish Enterprise (2006)

Overview of the Potential Rail Freight Market in Scotland 

Assessment of the opportunities for GB Railfreight to bid for existing road haulage traffic flows in Scotland, based on deliverability, timescales and scope to build on existing baseload traffic.

GB Railfreight Ltd (2005)

East Riding of Yorkshire Freight Strategy

Rail freight demand and supply analysis, including assessment of route corridor and rail terminal constraints and opportunities, as part of multi-modal freight strategy development.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council (2003)

North and Mid Wales Rail Freight Study

study of rail freight potential along the five principal rail corridors in North and Mid Wales, including market research and assessment of infrastructure barriers.

Welsh Development Agency (2000)

© Deltix Transport Consulting