Around 4,500 tonnes of timber will be taken off Welsh roads and put onto the railways over the next five weeks as part of an experiment.

And if the trial is successful, all the timber travelling to Kronospan at Chirk could be railed in from Aberystwyth.

Currently the timber makes a 75 mile journey from the forests of mid-Wales to Chirk – leading to traffic congestion and pollution.

Kronospan marketing manager Paul Duddle said: “Drivers who have found themselves stuck behind slow-moving timber lorries will welcome the new initiative. The switch will also reduce pollution from diesel fumes and reduce wear and tear on the roads.”

It is hoped the new initiative will also contribute to the UK government target of increasing rail freight by 80% by 2011.

During the trial period there will be five deliveries of timber a week to Kronospan. Each train will be more than 300ft long and will take three hours to load with 200 tonnes of timber.