GB Railfreight Launches New Service From Birch Coppice To Felixstowe

GB Railfreight were this week delighted to launch their new intermodal service from Birch Coppice to Felixstowe. The move demonstrates the sustained growth of GBRf as a business, with the launch marking its 5th new intermodal service in the past 18 months and 2nd service into the Birch Coppice terminal.

The Maritime Transport liveried locomotive left Birch Coppice at 14.14 on Tuesday 22nd January, arriving at Felixstowe at 20.14 the same day, passing through Hams Hall, Leicester, Peterborough and Ipswich along the way. Made up of 33 platforms, the service will transport a mixture of intermodal boxes, and will initially run 5 days a week. The move marks the continued expansion of GBRf’s intermodal offering, numbering its 13th intermodal service to date.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight said:

“We’re thrilled to be putting on this new service, which will be running on a daily basis. It is demonstrative of the wider sea change we are seeing in the rail freight industry, as the UK moves from its industrial roots to become a service and consumer- led economy. This is reflected in the fact that intermodal traffic now accounts for approximately 36% of rail freight industry wide.

The route is also practical, with this new Midlands service meaning Birch Coppice can accommodate business that was going to Hams Hall, allowing our client Wincanton additional space for its logistics operation that is centred around the ABP facility.”

GB Railfreight and Class 50 Alliance collaboration sealed with locomotive repaints

UK rail freight operator GB Railfreight (GBRf) and the Class 50 Alliance (C50A) have today announced that mainline registered Class 50 locomotives 50007 Hercules and 50049 Defiance are to be repainted into the latest GBRf livery.

GBRf worked closely with the C50A in enabling a return to the mainline for their locomotives in 2017 and subsequently through a programme of railtours during 2018 as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Class 50s.

The decision to repaint the locomotives into the striking new livery is a recognition of the developing relationship between the two organisations and marks a new chapter in the story of the Class 50s.

Over the past two years, GBRf has invested in a programme of driver training to enable Class 50 operation over much of the UK rail network. The company has also operated several railtours using the 50007 and 50049s, including The Caledonian in October 2017, returning class 50s to Glasgow for their 50th anniversary.

The repaints will be carried out by Arlington Fleet Services at Eastleigh. GBRf will fund the repainting and also manage the movement of the locomotives to and from Eastleigh.

The first outing for the GBRf-liveried Class 50s will be on Saturday 23rd March when they will work Pathfinder Tours’ Teminator-Pheonixed railtour from London Paddington to Penzance and return to Waterloo. This train will mark 25 years since the final BR operated Class 50 railtour over the same route, The Terminator, which was also promoted by Pathfinder.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said:

“I am delighted that GBRf is sponsoring the repainting of 50007, Hercules and 50049, Defiance, into GBRf livery. Our relationship with the class 50 alliance has grown over the years, with the painting of the two locomotives being an excellent way to recognise the fact. Having first witnessed class 50’s at Crewe in the early 1970s, I never thought the day would arise when one would be painted in the livery of GBRf. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the finished article(s).”

Jonathan Dunster, Director Class 50 Alliance said:

“Today’s announcement marks a significant next step in the story of the Class 50s, and we’re delighted to build on our already successful relationship with GBRf.”

“Since we successfully returned Class 50s to the mainline in 1997, we have gained a great deal of experience, working with many stakeholders across the industry. We have operated around 80 railtours, supplied power for timetabled service trains in South Wales and operated numerous freight and route learning duties. For GBRf to cement our relationship in this way is fantastic news and we look forward to working with the team on an exciting future programme, which kicks off in style when we head to Penzance on 23rd March.”

Following the repaints, the locomotives will be available to operate selected GBRf trains on a ‘spot-hire’ basis. This work will include movement of locomotives between heritage railway gala events, and future railtours. The locomotives will continue to be based at the Severn Valley Railway, but will have easy access to the national network, thanks to the 24-hour connection at Kidderminster.

50007 and 50049 will be unveiled in their new livery at a private event at Eastleigh Works, prior to working a test run and then the railtour on 23rd March.

GB Railfreight To Continue Successful Partnership With Liberty British Aluminium

GB Railfreight are today delighted to announce that they will be continuing their successful partnership with Liberty British Aluminium, having agreed to extend their contract for another three years.

The contract will see GBRf class 66 locomotives hauling alumina from North Blyth to Fort William, on a service that will run six days a week. The service enables the delivery of critical supplies to an industry which is not only central to the West Highlands, but the Scottish economy as a whole.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said:

“We are delighted to see the extension of this historic relationship between GB Railfreight and Liberty British Aluminium. The move will ensure the continuation of rail freight on the West Highland line.

Our ambition at GBRf is to see an increase in the amount of goods and materials transported via rail freight, taking trucks off the road and benefiting the environment.

Ensuring the delivery of materials to a key Scottish industry also secures employment in the West Highlands, and we are proud of the role GBRf are playing in ensuring the economic prosperity of the area.”

Liberty British Aluminium said:

“We at Liberty are incredibly proud to own and operate the only remaining UK aluminium smelter in Fort William. Our partnership with GB Railfreight is important in maintaining the operation of the smelter and our continued investment and growth; creating jobs in the West Highlands.”

Bill Reeve, Transport Scotland’s Director of Rail, said:

“A competitive, sustainable rail freight sector supports our communities and our economy through a safe, green and efficient way of transporting products and materials.

The Scottish Government welcomes the continued commitment of British Aluminium to rail freight to provide the raw materials for its production. This is another example of the importance of the West Highland Line to the economy, environment and communities of Lochaber.”

About Liberty British Aluminium

Liberty British Aluminium is part of the GFG Alliance, a London-headquartered international group of businesses, founded and owned by the British Gupta Family, with annual revenue of over US$15 billion and around 14,000 staff. It combines energy generation, metal manufacturing, engineering, natural resources and financial services, working together to deliver a common business strategy. The Alliance comprises Liberty – an integrated industrial and metals business – SIMEC – a resources and infrastructure group – Wyelands – a banking and financial services arm JAHAMA Estates – a division that manages and develops the Alliance’s global property holdings – and GFG Foundation which focuses on the retention and creation of engineering and industrial skills.