GB Railfreight Announce Lineas Partnership Extension

GB Railfreight (GBRf) are very pleased to announce an extension to their European freight operation in partnership with LINEAS, the largest private rail freight operator in Europe.

The existing traffic flow from Antwerp through to Irvine will continue for an additional two years. This announcement marks the extension of the existing contract which will now run until the end of December 2021, marking a 5-year relationship with LINEAS for this ‘hook and haul’ flow. The service has so far averaged around 30 trains a year and will continue to run approximately between two and three times per month.

The trains, which arrive in Calais from the LINEAS Rail operation, will consist of roughly 20 ICA Tank Rail Wagons and will carry 1200 tonnes of product per train. It will be transporting kaolin clay for the process of whitening paper which is produced at the UPM Caledonian Papermill in South Western Scotland.

GBRf will normally collect the product on a Tuesday night, run through the channel tunnel with Electric Traction. A Class 66 Loco then hauls through to UPM Irvine to arrive at around 7pm on the Wednesday night. Following unloading, GBRf return the empty set of wagons back to the Channel Tunnel by Friday night for a path back to Calais.

GBRf are currently operating intermodal services to and from the three largest ports in the UK. The Antwerp to Irvine operation builds on the company’s existing Intermodal services which is currently being managed by Julie Garn. This follows other European Traffic flows that GBRf have operated in the past.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said:

“I am delighted to announce that we are continuing our partnership with Lineas. Our strong relationship goes back many years and we are pleased to continue it until December 2021. This service will be the longest term of operation for running services through the Channel Tunnel for GBRf, something we are extremely proud of.

“In addition, the shift to rail freight is a vital part of decarbonising our transport system. Our partnership with LINEAS shows our commitment to doing our part to reach the ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2050 and we hope to build on this going forward.”

Geraldine Leyman, Senior Key Account Manager at LINEAS added:

“We are extremely pleased to have extended this contract. Our relationship with GB Railfreight is one we are extremely proud of and is the greatest example of the importance of cross-border cooperation.

“We couldn’t be happier with the service GBRf provide on the UK side and this contract extension is proof of that. We look forward to continuing this successful partnership in the years ahead.”

GB Railfreight agrees deal for five new Class 66 locos

GBRf is pleased to announce an agreement to bring an additional five Class 66 locomotives from Germany in cooperation with Beacon Rail Leasing.

The first two, classified as 29004/29005 have been delivered to EMD Doncaster ready for conversion to GBRf’s specification and UK railway standards. The remaining three locomotives will be delivered throughout 2021.

The first two locomotives are low-geared heavy haul 60mph locos which will benefit GBRf’s heavy-haul capability, while the remaining three are 75mph locomotives. 

The locos will be delivered into GBRf service commencing early April 2021 with the programme of conversions being undertaken by EMD at their Doncaster and Longport facilities, this will include the fitting of air conditioning, sound proofing, cab improvements, and new cab double glazing. In addition, the locos will be fitted with the most up to date GSMR and TPWS safety systems and be painted in GBRf livery. Once in service they will become GBRf 66 793-797 locos.

Today’s announcement reinforces GB Railfreight’s status as one of the fastest growing and most exciting transport companies in the UK. The locos will provide additional capacity to build on GBRf’s long track record of successful delivery for its customers

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said:

“Today’s announcement is another important milestone for GB Railfreight’s continued expansion as a company. We are delighted to be bringing these five locomotives to the UK and adding them to GB Railfreight’s Class 66 fleet.

“This agreement also shows that despite the economic uncertainty our country faces, GBRf leads the way with continued investment to put the UK economy back on track. We look to the future with optimism.”

Adam Cunliffe, CEO of Beacon Rail, said:

“Beacon Rail is delighted to be supporting GB Railfreight with these latest additions and further expanding the long-term relationship between our two companies. The class 66 is a proven performer, being the backbone for the movement of essential goods over recent months.  Beacon is committed to further growth of the UK rail freight market through the introduction of these additional locomotives.”

GB Railfreight Announces Contract Renewal with Tarmac

GB Railfreight (GBRf) is delighted to announce Tarmac has renewed its contract for five years from January 2020 to 31 December 2025, for the transportation of aggregate materials. The contract will include the supply of hopper and box wagons from GBRf

This is an extension to the current contract which covers the northern package of Tarmac’s rail operations, encompassing services mainly from Arcow and Swinden railheads in North Yorkshire to a variety of destinations including Leeds, Hull and two sites in Manchester.

The new contract builds on the successful relationship that has been established since GBRf started services in the northern package over four years ago in January 2016.

Managing Director of GBRf John Smith said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have signed a contract extension with Tarmac. Our relationship goes back many years and we have built on the strong partnership forged in 2016.

“During the ongoing pandemic, we are doing our bit to keep the economy moving and our partnership with Tarmac is testament to that. We look forward to working with Tarmac in the months and years to come to spur the recovery of the construction sector.”

Chris Swan, Head of Rail at Tarmac, said:

“Effective use of the rail freight network is key in supporting the UK’s transition to a net-zero society and supporting a green recovery as we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis. Collaborative working has a vital role to play in this and we’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with GB Railfreight as the industry focuses on continued modal shift, as well as driving forward efficiencies and innovation.”

GB Railfreight announce deal with DB Cargo for Class 60 maintenance

GB Railfreight (GBRf) has announced a new three-year deal with fellow rail freight company DB Cargo UK to undertake the maintenance of ten Class 60 locomotives as well as providing technical in-field support.

The agreement will see GBRf’s engineering team work closely with DB Cargo UK to drive locomotive performance and provide professional engineering support.

The focus of the contract will be undertaking regular maintenance in line with contracted KPIs whilst driving reliability improvements.

The Class 60 locomotives which have entered service will allow heavier and longer trains to run. This brings environmental benefits as longer trains are more efficient.  The main duties of the locomotives will be hauling biomass to power stations.

Lynemouth – Tyne Dock credit Ken Short

This announcement demonstrates a willingness of the rail freight sector to continue investing and working together through this difficult time in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said:

“I am thrilled to be unveiling this new partnership with DB Cargo UK. At this time of economic uncertainty, it is important for the rail freight sector to work together to deliver investment to support its growth.

Most importantly, the economic recovery needs to be green and sustainable and by maintaining these locos we will ensure fewer carbon emissions in the long run. I am pleased that rail freight is playing its part in the economic recovery driven by environmentally sustainable investment.”

Hans-Georg Werner, CEO at DB Cargo UK, said:

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with our colleagues at GB Railfreight providing high quality maintenance services for their Class 60 locomotives. At DB Cargo UK we pride ourselves on the quality of our engineering, with our key focus being on cost-effective locomotive availability and reliability.”

GB Railfreight unveils new sidings at Peterborough

GB Railfreight (GBRf) is set to start operations at its new intermodal sidings at Peterborough. The investment provides GBRf with much needed track capacity – which will be doubled – in order to facilitate the business’ growing intermodal sector.

This is the first of four phases of works to have been completed on this site. GBRf are looking to develop this site further by completing alterations to existing sidings and install additional infrastructure to provide improved access to the East Coast Main Line, allowing GBRf to further increase the capacity of the site.

Other works planned at this location in the near future include a purpose-built wagon maintenance facility in order to support high levels of asset utilisation. The move will provide GB Railfreight with an improved and more efficient wagon maintenance capability along with improved facilities for their maintainers to operate from. This follows the announcement of a new multi million contract for the lease of an additional 52 Ecofret2® Intermodal wagons from VTG, Rail UK Ltd, the UK’s largest private wagon hire company.

To meet increasing demand for rail freight, GBRf are also expanding operations by investing in new offices and training facilities. GBRf recently broke ground for their new office in Peterborough, with the work involving the demolition of existing temporary office buildings and construction of a new building to house a control room, three classrooms, a board room and staff welfare facilities. The training school will support GBRf’s state-of-the-art class 66 simulators, which were unveiled in 2019.

The new intermodal sidings at Peterborough, were completed by MLP Railway Maintenance Ltd which enabled GBRf to finish them ahead of schedule and also within budget. This announcement demonstrates the company’s commitment to investing in the rail freight sector and the UK economy as a whole at this time of uncertainty in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said:

“I am absolutely delighted to be able to unveil the new intermodal sidings at Peterborough. The growth in Intermodal is demonstrative of GBRf’s commitment to leading the way in what is one of the biggest changes in the freight industry’s history, offering flexible and innovative door-to-door solutions that meet our customer’s needs.

“In 2019 GBRf delivered not only growth but also consumer choice in the market with a further four Intermodal services from major deep-sea UK ports, bringing the total to 17 Intermodal services. Despite the current disruption due to COVID-19 we are committed to delivering investment to support the growth of the rail freight sector, ensuring that rail freight can play its part in the economic recovery  driven by environmentally sustainable investment.”