GB Railfreight’s team of 750 staff operate over a thousand trainloads a week, moving 15 per cent of Britain’s rail freight with 99 per cent reliability
GB Railfreight (GBRf) has a fleet of 120 locomotives and over 1,100 wagons, transporting goods for customers including Drax, Network Rail, EDF Energy, MSC UK, Aggregate Industries, Crossrail and Tarmac.
In November 2017, GBRf announced that it would be leasing fifty newly built, lidded biomass wagons from American company Nacco.
The new wagons run in two sets of 24 wagons, delivering 1,680 tonnes of biomass per train. The first sets were delivered at the end of November 2017 with the second set arriving in January 2018.
A converted Vulcan wagon
Photo: GB Railfreight
In May 2017 GBRf announced a three-year contract extension with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), running container services out of the Port of Felixstowe.
Through 2015, GBRf and MSC worked towards running the longest Intermodal train on the network at 610 metres long. TEU capacity was increased by 52 on a round trip basis, removing an estimated 26,208 lorry movements per annum. The contract with MSC is for three years. GBRf run 98 rail platforms daily, with a mix of 60 FEA wagons and 40 friendly ECOfret triples. The following month GBRf signed a contract to manage the movements and preparation of all trains running in and out of the DP World London Gateway Port. John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said: ‘GB Railfreight is delighted to announce that it will be supporting DP World in the smooth operations of its London Gateway facility.
‘This is a fantastic opportunity to develop our services in London and ensure that the economy continues to function effectively. Additionally, that efforts to lower air pollution through the reduction of lorries on the capital’s roads are successful. We hope to continue to build on this relationship and ensure that our customers receive the optimum service.’
In the Spring of 2017 GBRf began testing Hitachi’s newly built electric intercity trains on the East Coast Main Line (ECML). Since September 2013 the companies have worked together to facilitate the testing and commissioning of the new bi-mode intercity trains, part of the Intercity Express Programme (IEP).
The first two electric only test trains for the ECML arrived at Hitachi’s newly constructed Doncaster depot in February 2018. As part of the new contract, due to run until April 2020, GBRf will provide train crew for all aspects of the testing and commissioning programme.