GB Railfreight and CEMEX Launch New Branded Locomotive at Official Naming Ceremony

On Wednesday, GB Railfreight (GBRf) and Global building materials supplier CEMEX presented the new CEMEX-liveried locomotive at a dedicated naming ceremony held at Dove Holes Quarry, Buxton.

The new locomotive is called The Cemex Express. The name was unveiled at the event by record producer and rail enthusiast Pete Waterman. Resplendent in the white, blue and red colours of the CEMEX brand, the vehicle recognises the partnership between GBRf and CEMEX, which has now been in place for one year.

The Cemex Express, a Class 66 Locomotive, will travel typically between Dove Holes quarry, carrying premium aggregate for readymix and asphalt plants, and external customers throughout the UK. It will pull 22 to 26 hopper wagons that discharge their loads from underneath directly onto the plant’s conveyors. A single trainload can deliver up to 2,000 tons of material in one trip and will make over 200 trips for CEMEX each year; the equivalent of over 20,000 truckloads.

John Smith, Managing Director of GBRf, said:

We are delighted to unveil this fantastic Class 66 locomotive, painted in the CEMEX livery and representing our two organisations’ ongoing partnership. This contract is demonstrative of the role rail freight has to play in helping the UK to cut carbon emissions and to improve air quality.

On average, one gallon of fuel will move one tonne of goods 246 miles on the rail network, while the same amount will only get you 88 miles by road. Rail freight’s CO2 emissions are 76 per cent lower than road’s, per tonne carried. An average freight train removes 60 HGV journeys from the roads and the largest up to 160. When this is combined with rail’s advantageous performance in terms of nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions, rail freight demonstrates a clear contribution to the challenge of meeting the UK’s carbon-cutting targets.”

David Hart, CEMEX’s Supply Chain Director for UK & France, commented:

The transport of our product by rail is of ever-increasing importance to CEMEX as we look to make our operations as sustainable as possible. Rail is a far more environmentally friendly method of transport than trucks on the road, as a train burns significantly less fuel per ton-mile than road vehicles, saving around 50% in CO2 emissions.

CEMEX UK currently transports 2.6 million tonnes of aggregate by rail each year which equates to approximately 100,000 trucks off the road; enough to build 40,000 houses; and we want to continue to build on this. We are very proud of our partnership with GBRf and hope that together we will be able to transport more and more by rail safely whilst reducing the number of truck movements.”

Lex Russell, Managing Director for UK Materials North at CEMEX, added:

“Dove Holes is one of CEMEX’s most important quarries and generates several million tonnes of limestone aggregates every year, as well as asphalt, readymix, concrete products and dry silo mortar.  By rail we then supply many locations across the UK including key cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham and London. It was therefore the perfect location to unveil the new Cemex Express locomotive and take the opportunity to thank those in our team and at GBRf for their hard work and dedication to our rail partnership.”

GB Railfreight works with Network Rail to re-open March sidings

GB Railfreight (GBRf) is delighted to announce that in partnership with Network Rail, it has secured a lease for the long-disused March Up Yard rail sidings complex in Cambridgeshire.

The site is just over three acres in size and will accommodate trains of up to 320m in length.  It will operate in conjunction with the Down Yard, south of the main line, which GBRf already works from. The line through March is part of the nationally designated freight route between Felixstowe and Nuneaton, and plays a key role in the haulage of goods and materials around the country.

The site will initially be utilised for the stabling and maintenance of rolling stock used on the traffic between Middleton Towers and Yorkshire, as well as that used to carry aggregates between the Peak District and East Anglia.  As rail traffic to and from Felixstowe continues to grow, the yards will be used for container wagons as well.

As part of the lease, GBRf will refurbish the railway track, putting it into good working condition.  Consideration is also being given to the possible installation of a fuel point. The scheme will incorporate new fencing and acoustic barriers to mitigate the impact of the yard’s re-opening on nearby residents.

John Smith, Managing Director of GBRf, said of the new facility:

“We’re really very pleased to have secured this location.  It will help reduce emissions and save costs in terms of running several hundred empty miles each week in order to get our wagons serviced.  It will also reduce congestion elsewhere along our routes and assist with timetabling flexibility, improving performance overall.  It’s a real bonus for us.”

Guy Bates, Head of Freight Development at Network Rail added:

The re-opening of March by GBRf to support their growing freight traffic operation is a very satisfying development. Recognising its location on a rail freight corridor of national significance, we took the decision to include this site in our 2014 freight estate acquisition portfolio in the clear anticipation that it would have future utility. 

Successive Governments have shared an ambition to grow freight on rail substantially and our facilitating of this type of market led development of our freight estate is critical to realising that growth.”

GB Railfreight Appoint New Head Of Market Development

Carl Kent, GB Railfreight’s (GBRf) current Head of Strategy and Innovation has been appointed Head of Market Development and will assume his new role and responsibilities from 17 June 2019.

Kent has worked within the business for five years. He has been highly influential in the successful implementation and delivery of many major contracts in what has been a period of significant growth for the company. The Business Implementation team, led by Kent, have delivered a range of new rail freight business in intermodal, international, bulk, energy, infrastructure and rail services markets. In addition, Kent has played a key role in lobbying industry groups during the Periodic Review 2018 (PR18) and the ongoing Williams Rail Review.

Kent said of his promotion:

Working at GBRf has been challenging and exciting, in equal measure. The culture of the business is something that I deeply buy into and try to instil in those around me. I look forward to bringing my skills in developing solutions to deliver new business volumes in line with the development of new market opportunities for GBRf to successfully exploit.”

Lee Armstrong, Commercial Director of GB Railfreight, stated:

“I am thrilled that Carl is the new Head Market Development, he has worked successfully with the Commercial Team and the Market Development Team for several years, he has a fantastic understanding of GB Railfreight and our customers’ requirements, consistently influential in developing business solutions, these skills complement his new role.”

The role’s current holder, Jonathan Bailey, leaves the business after two years in post. He goes to DFDS Seaways, where he will be Shipping Logistics Director.

GBRf would like to thank Jonathan for the excellent work he has done in bringing new contracts into the business, particularly in expanding the company’s operations throughout Europe and developing strategies to work more effectively within the supply chain. Lee Armstrong added:

Over the last few years with GB Railfreight, Jonathan has been instrumental in helping deliver GB Railfreight’s growth, I would like to congratulate him for his new Director role with DFDS and thank him for the success he helped bring to GB Railfreight.”

GB Railfreight To Introduce Three Class 66 Locomotives To The UK Rail Network

GB Railfreight (GBRf) are delighted to announce three Class 66 locomotives are to be leased from Beacon Rail Leasing and introduced to the UK rail network from Sweden.

The locomotives T66 403/4/5 will become 66 790/791/792 and mark GBRf’s continued growth and investment in its fleet. These locomotives are the most widely operated modern freight locomotives in the European market and will further strengthen GBRf’s already reliable fleet.

GBRf have considerable experience bringing locomotives from Europe to the UK. Previous conversions include 66 747/8/9/5/51 from European to UK specification with the assistance of Electro Motive Diesels (EMD).

Prior to entering service, the locomotives will undergo upgrades in Gothenburg before being shipped to Immingham and transferred to EMD’s Longport Facility for conversion to UK specifications.

The locomotives will have Train Bourne safety systems, air conditioning, as well as cab and system specific reliability improvements made. In addition, they will all receive GBRf livery and once fully upgraded, the Class 66s will then enter service.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said:
I am delighted to announce that three Class 66 locomotives are being added to our fleet. These locos are incredibly reliable and will assist us in delivering the best possible service now and into the future.

This move is demonstrative of why GBRf are leading the way in the rail freight sector. It’s a fantastic addition to our offer, enabling us to expand operations, whilst also providing the extra freight capacity the industry really needs.”