GB Railfreight thanks Capt. Tom Moore for his NHS fundraising with loco naming

GB Railfreight, one of the UK’s leading rail freight operators, has thanked Captain Tom Moore for his fundraising efforts for the NHS with a birthday surprise – a freight locomotive named in his honour.

A 129-tonne, Class 66 freight locomotive, will be named ‘Captain Tom Moore’, with the added inscription ‘A true British inspiration’. The name plates were produced by Procast, one of which has been kindly donated by Neil Booth, Director of Railwayana Auctions UK Ltd, as a thank you for Captain Moore’s amazing efforts.

The naming took place to coincide with Captain Moore’s 100th birthday (30 April). The name plate which will now adorn the locomotive, was unveiled by GB Railfreight Managing Director John Smith, with Captain Moore watching the ceremony from home.

Captain Moore won the hearts and minds of the nation, raising over £29,000,000 for the NHS. GB Railfreight was keen to do its bit to thank NHS workers for their extraordinary efforts during this period and decided to paint a locomotive with a message of gratitude from GB Railfeight to the NHS. Given Captain Moore’s inspirational story, it was decided to name the locomotive after him.

GB Railfreight is playing its part in supporting the UK’s COVID-19 response by helping to keep essential services running across the country and ensuring that warehouses and supermarkets remain stocked, and vital medical supplies are transported across the country whilst ensuring all of our team are being kept as safe as possible.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight said:

“Happy birthday Captain Tom! On behalf of myself and the whole team at GB Railfreight I wanted to offer a huge ‘thank you’ for your fantastic efforts in raising money for the NHS. We are in awe of your achievement. We thought we were good at fundraising but you have achieved a level that is quite simply inspiring.

“Last week we unveiled one of our freight locomotives in thanks to our wonderful critical workers at the NHS by painting it in their colours. In honour of your efforts, we are very proud to name this locomotive after you.”

“After today, it will be pulling crucial rail freight throughout the country helping to supply the NHS. It will also help deliver food to people’s tables and kick start the country’s economy as we move forward from the current difficulties. Thank you again for all of your efforts.”

Lifelong rail enthusiast Neil Booth, Director of Railwayana Auctions UK Ltd, said:

“I was inspired by the sheer tenacity and conviction of the fundraising task for the NHS that Captain Tom Moore had set himself and thought that it would be a wonderful idea to name a locomotive in his honour on his 100th birthday. Once we had his family’s permission to do so, we very quickly had the nameplates cast, had Sir Peter Hendy CBE, Chairman of Network Rail and John Smith, Managing Director of GBRf on board along with his management team and staff who have  bent over backwards in providing a more than suitable locomotive to be honoured in this way. I just can’t thank everyone enough for their sterling efforts in making this happen within just seven days.”

GB Railfreight Contract Renewal with Etex Building Performance

GB Railfreight (GBRf) is delighted to announce Etex Building Performance (EBP) has renewed its contract for three years from 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2023, for the transportation of gypsum to the plasterboard producer’s factory in Ferrybridge. At present, GBRf is delivering the fifth term of their contract for EBP. When the initial contract commenced in 2015, the operation was for flow from Cottam and West Burton Power Stations to EBP’s plants in West Yorkshire and Portbury. The closure of Cottam Power Station and the reduced activity at West Burton resulted in a reduction in contract volume. Despite this, GBRf continued to work with EBP for high quality rail solutions into their operations, providing reliable services and maintaining a strong customer relationship. The contract renewal which will now run until 2023, will see GBRf continue to provide services to and from Ferrybridge.

Managing Director of GBRf John Smith said:

“As an industry, rail freight works hard to support the efficient movement of goods for the UK supply chain and GB Railfreight is proud to help to keep this country’s construction sector moving. The GBRf team are thrilled that our contract with EBP has been renewed for three years. We strive to always deliver the best possible service for our customers, and the continuation of our partnership with EBP demonstrates the success of our operations, providing effective rail freight solutions, continually meeting the needs of our customers and surpassing expectations.”

Purchasing Head of Etex Group UK/IE Paul Brown said:

“EBP is proud to be working collaboratively with GBRf who again prove to be a truly valued partner in delivering outstanding service needs to our operational facilities. This in turn has ensured that EBP is able to deliver on the promises to our customers, which will be more prevalent given the current market dynamics.”

GB Railfreight trials express delivery trains for vital NHS supplies

GB Railfreight, one of the UK’s largest rail freight operators, has successfully trialled using former commuter trains for the express delivery of parcels.  A service was run into Euston station earlier this month using a 100mph, Class 319, EMU train, which until recently was providing commuter services in the West Midlands.

The trial showed the trains could successfully be loaded and offloaded with standard roll cages at most mainline stations across the UK and when seats are removed the carriages can carry significant volumes of parcels.

This is the first time that successful trial of using a converted commuter train has been undertaken in the UK and GB Railfreight is in discussion with Government about how the service could play a role in helping with the logistical challenge of delivering supplies to UK hospitals.

The railway network used to be extensively used for parcel deliveries between stations, but apart from specially designed trains used by the Royal Mail between dedicated terminals, parcel delivery by train disappeared decades ago.

As well as strengthening supply chains during the current crisis, a return of parcel delivery services to mainline stations would provide online retailers with a more sustainable and reliable options for overnight parcel deliveries, bringing deliveries into the heart of major cities.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight said:

“We are committed to continuing to help the UK get through this period by ensuring that vital supplies are delivered. Rail freight has the advantage in being able to efficiently move very large volumes of goods in a safe and reliable way.

 “This successful trial shows how the railways can play their role in helping the speedy delivery of vital supplies and we are keen to be able to do our bit to help the NHS meet the logistical challenge of keeping our hospitals supplied during this period of huge demand.

 “Post-crisis these services could play a role in reducing air pollution and carbon emissions associated with parcel deliveries.  With deliveries being brought into the heart of cities by train overnight and last mile deliveries then undertaken by electric powered vehicles.”

GB Railfreight unveils new locomotive to thank our NHS heroes

Leading UK Railfreight operator, GB Railfreight and their industry partner Porterbrook have unveiled a specially repainted freight locomotive painted with the blue and white colours of the National Health Service.  The unveiling was timed to be part of the weekly celebrations to thank frontline workers in our health and social care sector.

GB Railfreight, one of the UK’s largest rail freight operators, decided to mark the fifth, now weekly ‘clap,’ by repainting one of its freight locomotives and unveiling it at 8pm just as millions of people across the UK were stepping outside their front doors to thank the frontline workers who are putting their lives on the line to save countless others across our hospital and care homes.

The repainting of 66731 was co-funded by the locomotive’s owner and long-term GB Railfreight partner, Porterbrook. The painting was undertaken by Arlington Fleet Services, Eastleigh.

GBRf staff joined in with the clapping as the newly decorated locomotive was unveiled to express their gratitude to all those working to keep us safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

GB Railfreight is playing its part in supporting the UK’s COVID-19 response by helping to keep essential services running across the country. GBRf services are playing a vital role in ensuring the continuation of supplies and trains are running from ports such as London Gateway, Southampton, Felixstowe and Teesport to distribution centres across the country.  These flows are ensuring that warehouses remain stocked, and supermarkets as well as other essential retailers remain supplied.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight said:

“Thank you to all NHS staff and carers across the country for the hard work you have been doing to keep us safe. Across the UK you are seeing week in, week out, an outpouring of love and affection of our frontline staff and we are taking a minute today to say our thanks on behalf of GB Railfreight and the rail industry.

 “The unveiling of this locomotive is our way of saying thanks for all you are doing. We are inspired by you and wanted to say thank you in the usual GBRf way, by painting one of our regular Class 66 which will be travelling the length and breadth of the country to keep our economy moving during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Now it will also carry our message of thanks to all our carers.”

Mary Grant, Porterbrook CEO, said:

“We are delighted to support GB Railfreight in thanking NHS staff and carers for all that they do at this unprecedented time in our nation’s life. Porterbrook is also hugely grateful to all the front-line railway staff, including John’s team, who are the unsung heroes in keeping Britain’s economy moving.”

GB Railfreight welcomes the go ahead of the construction phase of HS2

Leading rail freight operator GB Raifreight has welcomed the Government’s announcement that it has issued the ‘notice to proceed’ for construction to start on phase one of HS2.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight said:

“This is welcome news for business across the construction supply chain.  Uncertainty about the future of the project followed by the COVID-19 disruption has caused difficulties for the sector. Confidence that work is about to begin will be a big boost for businesses across the UK.

“Better connectivity across the country will be important in supporting the UK’s long-term economic growth. The go ahead for HS2 shows that that Government is willing to deliver on its promises to invest in infrastructure to support economic growth across the UK.

“GBRf has already been playing a role in supporting preparations for the construction phase to begin and we will support the delivery of the project though our role in the construction supply chain.”

GB Railfreight and Drax helping to ‘keep the lights on’ during Covid-19 crisis

A GBRf biomass train makes its way from Drax Power Station after February floods. Credit Chris Davis

TEAMS at GB Railfreight (GBRf) are continuing to work closely with Drax to maintain supplies of the sustainable biomass needed for the UK’s largest power station to generate electricity needed by millions of homes and business during the Covid-19 crisis.

Severe storms and flooding in the area near Drax in February resulted in damage to the rail tracks. GBRf has been working closely with Drax to reschedule rail deliveries and maximise capacity on the rail link while the repairs are completed – maintaining the vital supplies of biomass needed for Drax to generate enough renewable electricity for up to four million households.

The rail planners who helped rework the timetable to accommodate the new train timings combined forces with train drivers, signal controllers, Network Rail train marshals and Drax logistics specialists to speedily restore flows of sustainable biomass to the power station.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said:

“GB Railfreight is playing its part in supporting the UK’s Covid-19 response by helping to keep essential services running across the country. Our partnership with Drax Power Station in Yorkshire is proof of this. We are delivering vital supplies of sustainable biomass which are transported across the country by rail to Drax, which supplies five percent of the UK’s electricity needs.

“GB Railfreight stops at nothing to get vital supplies from one part of the country to the other – as we saw during the recent floods near Drax. We will be redoubling our efforts to ensure we keep the country going during these trying times.”

Drax CEO, Will Gardiner, said:

“The teams who are working tirelessly across the UK rail freight system and also within our power stations to keep the lights on and keep the country going during this Covid-19 crisis are doing a tremendous job.

“As teams work around the clock to keep generating the power the country needs, their health, safety and wellbeing are vital. Across all our sites we have implemented strategies to reduce the chances of spreading the virus and have operational plans in place to ensure continued delivery of power into the grid.

“GBRf’s rail deliveries are an important part of our global supply chain for sustainable biomass that supports thousands of jobs and has delivered economic growth across the north of England and in the US south.”

Nick King, Group Director, Network Services for Network Rail, said:

“The railway plays a crucial part in keeping Britain running, particularly in these challenging times and strong teamwork across the rail industry is absolutely key in keeping freight services moving.  

“Recent flooding in this area brought additional challenges to keeping services moving, however the hard work and dedication of our people has meant that vital supplies of sustainable biomass have continued to be transported.”