5 minute read – Ely to Peterborough rail line reopens following incident at Cambridgeshire level crossing

©Network Rail

The Ely to Peterborough rail line reopened this morning (Tuesday 24 August) following completion of works to repair damage caused by a collision between a freight train and a tractor last week.

The collision caused extensive damage after the freight train derailed. Since the incident, Network Rail’s engineers have been working non-stop to complete over a mile of track renewal, repairs to the signalling equipment and level crossing infrastructure. 

Network Rail’s infrastructure director for Anglia, Simon Milburn, said: “We’ve worked around the clock on extensive repairs in order to safely reopen the line as quickly as possible. I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we completed these works and we are sorry for the disruption it has caused.”

Just after 9am on Thursday 19 August, a freight train collided with a tractor at Kisbeys user worked level crossing in March, Cambridgeshire between March and Whittlesea stations. Network Rail is assisting the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) with their investigation to fully understand the circumstance of the incident.

The crash caused three freight wagons to derail and has caused significant damage to the track, signalling equipment and the level crossing. The train driver and the tractor driver sustained minor injuries.

DB Cargo UK secures new two-year contract with Imerys

DB Cargo UK has been awarded a new, two-year contract to transport china clay for the world-leading mineral specialist, Imerys.

The soft white clay is mined in Cornwall and is an essential ingredient in the manufacture of china and porcelain, as well as being used in the making of products like paper, rubber and paint.

DB Cargo UK, one of the UK’s largest rail freight operators, operates two separate traffic flows for Imerys – from Goonbarrow and Branch to Fowey Docks and from Cornwall to Cliffe Vale in Stoke.

Every week the rail freight company transports in the region of 7,200 tonnes of china clay for Imerys in covered hopper wagons – this removes around 11,000 lorries a year off Cornwall’s road network.

DB Cargo UK’s Head of Sales Roger Neary said:

“We are proud of our long-standing relationship with Imerys and look forward to continuing to provide them with high quality services in the South West and beyond.

“Rail freight provides a faster, more efficient and environmentally-friendly method of transporting materials of this kind, reducing congestion on the UK’s already congested road network,” he added.

Imerys UK Hub & BA CSR Director Ashley Shopland, said:

“Imerys is pleased to have secured ongoing rail movements for its products in and around the St Austell area and up to Cliffe Vale, combined with a continuation of the strong relationship that it has built over many years with DB Cargo UK.”

DB Cargo UK secures new five-year contract with Drax

DB Cargo UK has announced a new, five-year “hook and haul” contract to transport supplies of sustainable biomass to Drax.

One of the UK’s largest rail freight operators, DB Cargo UK will operate an average of 60 trains per week from the ports of Immingham and Hull to Drax Power Station in Selby, Yorkshire.

Each train will carry around 1,650 tonnes of sustainable biomass to Drax Power Station, which provides flexible and reliable renewable power for millions of UK homes and businesses.  

Drax supplies 12% of the UK’s renewable electricity. Using sustainable biomass instead of coal at Drax Power Station has reduced emissions by more than 80% and helped the UK power system decarbonise faster than any other country.Drax-Engineer-and-Biomass-Train-3 (1)[

Drax Engineer and Biomass Train

Roger Neary, Head of Sales at DB Cargo UK, said:

“We are delighted that Drax has chosen to extend our existing contract with them for another five years. We are proud of the important role our people continue to play in delivering an efficient and sustainable source of renewable energy for use here in the UK.”

Mike Maudsley, UK Portfolio Generation Director at Drax, said:

“These rail deliveries are a critical part of our global supply chain for sustainable biomass that supports thousands of jobs and has delivered economic growth across the north of England, while supplying renewable electricity to millions of homes and businesses.

“We’re very pleased to extend our existing contract with DB Cargo UK for another five years and look forward to continuing to work with the team.”

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.”