GB Railfreight Announces Contract Renewal with Tarmac

GB Railfreight Announces Contract Renewal with Tarmac



GB Railfreight (GBRf) is delighted to announce Tarmac has renewed its contract for five years from January 2020 to 31 December 2025, for the transportation of aggregate materials. The contract will include the supply of hopper and box wagons from GBRf.


This is an extension to the current contract which covers the northern package of Tarmac’s rail operations, encompassing services mainly from Arcow and Swinden railheads in North Yorkshire to a variety of destinations including Leeds, Hull and two sites in Manchester.


The new contract builds on the successful relationship that has been established since GBRf started services in the northern package over four years ago in January 2016.


Managing director of GBRf John Smith said:


“We are absolutely delighted to have signed a contract extension with Tarmac. Our relationship goes back many years and we have built on the strong partnership forged in 2016.


“During the ongoing pandemic, we are doing our bit to keep the economy moving and our partnership with Tarmac is testament to that. We look forward to working with Tarmac in the months and years to come to spur the recovery of the construction sector.”


Chris Swan, head of rail at Tarmac, said:

“Effective use of the rail freight network is key in supporting the UK’s transition to a net-zero society and supporting a green recovery as we emerge from the Covid-19 crisis. Collaborative working has a vital role to play in this and we’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with GB Railfreight as the industry focuses on continued modal shift, as well as driving forward efficiencies and innovation.”

GBRf celebrates success at the National Rail Awards

GBRf celebrates success at the National Rail Awards

GB Railfreight celebrated a successful night at Thursday’s (17 September) National Rail Awards with the company taking home two awards and receiving special mentions for two others.

The team scooped the ‘Great Place to Work’ award recognising the business’s reputation as a great employer and the rollout of the ‘Wellbeing Champion’ Mental Health Concept across GBRf.

Former GBRf employee Chris Hopcroft MBE was awarded a lifetime achievement award, to mark a 60-year career on the railway and a commitment not just to the railway, but to the community, with a particular focus on educating young people on rail safety.

Chris provided outstanding dedication in all his roles, most recently as one of GBRf’s Train Managers. His passion for, and service to, the railways was recognised in 1994 with an MBE for services to the safety of young people.

GBRf were also highly commended in the Freight and Logistics category for their impressive 2019 performance which saw them maintain value for money for customers by increasing efficiency despite increasing operating costs as well as the expansion of their intermodal service, with four new services having been launched last year.

A special mention was given to Paul Taylor in the Outstanding Personal Contribution category. Paul, a GB Railfreight General Manager, has worked on the railways for over thirty years and for over a decade has been running Charity Tours which have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds.

GBRf Managing Director John Smith said:

“Our success at the National Rail Awards underlines what a great team GBRf has and the amazing work they do with our customers and partners.

“To be recognised by the National Rail Awards for being a great place to work means a lot to me, having founded this company over twenty years ago and having always tried to foster a great team spirit throughout the business. I am so proud of the GBRf family.

“I am also delighted for being commended for our 2019 performance. Last year was an incredibly strong year for GBRf, continuing the success story of the previous year by winning more business and retaining highly valued customers. GBRf has delivered not only growth but also consumer choice in the market with a further four Intermodal services starting in 2019 from major deep-sea UK Ports.

“I was particularly proud of the final award for Lifetime Achievement. This was given to our own, recently retired, Train Manager Chris Hopcroft MBE following his 60 years of service to the industry. As well as the special mention to Paul Taylor a highly regarded and much-loved member of the GB Railfreight team who has worked on the railways for over three decades.”

“Engagement with the communities we operate in has ways been something that GBRf believes is important. In 2019 the team raised a staggering £185,000 for charity through a number of team-wide initiatives.”

GB Railfreight Announce New Asset Director


GB Railfreight is delighted to announce the appointment of David Golding as Asset Director. David started officially his new role on 14 September.

David does not have the traditional rail background having served in the British Army for 23 years as an engineering officer that culminated in 2008 with a job that put him in charge of the military logistics supply chain and equipment support, maintenance and engineering organisation in Iraq during combat operations in Basra.

His career in the business world has included supply chain, operations and continuous improvement director roles with British Sugar and The Silver Spoon Company, both part of the AB Foods conglomerate, before his last appointment as the Group Corporate Services Director with the Go-Ahead Group.

Outside of work, David is married with two teenage boys and the family are very active, spending their free time skiing, walking, and going for long bike rides.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said:

“A big GBRf welcome to David Golding. We are delighted to have him joining our team and I can’t wait to work with him.

“We continue to grow our business, despite the economic uncertainty. We are also attracting top talent from beyond the rail industry which demonstrates the good work we are doing. We are at the cutting edge of the industry and the appointment of a new Asset Director will help us improve even more.”

David Golding said:

“It’s a privilege to join GBRf and to become a part of such a successful and growing business.  The company has an outstanding reputation in the industry and the team spirit and willingness to do a great job for our customers is evident wherever you look.  I look forward to playing my part in the team and helping the business to continue to grow and play an increasingly important role in providing carbon-efficient logistic solutions.”

GB Railfreight and Rail Stone Solutions win two major HS2 contracts

GB Railfreight (GBRf) and Rail Stone Solutions (RSS) are delighted to unveil two contracts to support construction on the first phase of HS2.

The deals, with HS2 contractors EKFB (Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial BAM Nuttall) and BBV (Balfour Beatty VINCI) will see GBRf join forces with RSS to deliver aggregates by rail to the high speed rail project’s main construction compounds.

As part of the deal with EKFB, GBRf  will support the training of new train drivers  at their new state-of-the-art twin-simulators near Peterborough where the UK’s first and only full-cab freight European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) simulator centre is located.

The announcement follows news last month that GB Railfreight will be moving aggregates in a deal struck with RSS – part of the GRS Group – and Balfour Beatty VINCI..

One hundred box wagons have been procured specifically for Balfour Beatty VINCI to utilise for rail deliveries to construct HS2. GB Railfreight will provide traction, drivers, ground staff and timetabling services to ensure delivery on time, and in full. The source point for aggregate will be a Tarmac quarry in the Derbyshire Peak District, one of the aggregate supply locations that is strategically critical for the supply by rail to support HS2.

The partnership between GBRf and RSS, running up to Christmas, will initially see up to 157 trains deliver 235,000 tonnes of Type 1 aggregate for the first phase of construction work for HS2. Ten trains per week, conveying up to 77 tonnes in 20 box wagons, will transport 1500 tonnes of product per train. This amounts 15,000 tonnes delivered to site per week. The first trainload arrived at Balfour Beatty VINCI’s Washwood Heath construction site last week. GBRf will act as Facility Operator, essentially operating the railhead. Rail Freight Services (RFS) – also a GRS joint venture with Aggregate Industries – are managing train unloading and material handling.

This announcement reinforces GB Railfreight’s commitment to decarbonise transport and help reduce the UK’s carbon emissions. The transportation of aggregate by rail will eliminate the need for an average of four HGV road movements for every loaded freight wagon. For the services operating to Washwood Heath, moving 3000 tonnes of aggregate using HGVs would require around 150 trucks, whereas GBRf can transport the same quantity using only two trains. Averaging this over a four-month period, transporting 235,000 tonnes of aggregate would require 11,750 long distance road movements from the Peak District to Birmingham.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said:

“We are thrilled to be unveiling this partnership with RSS. Not only have we delivered the first freight train to an HS2 site since the green light was given to the project, we have also reinforced our commitment over the next few months to continue on this important project.

“We at GBRf are committed to increasing the amount of goods and materials transported via rail freight, reducing emissions and delivering a more sustainable logistics solution. During the course of the next four months we will be taking 11,750 trucks off the road to transport the 235,000 tonnes of aggregates, meaning GBRf will continue to play a leading role in the decarbonisation of transport and of the UK economy as a whole.

“A special thank you for their outstanding work on this should go to my colleagues Tom Mainprize and Jack Eagling. They are the unsung heroes of this story and I pay tribute to their hard work.”

Jon Fisher, Chief Executive of GRS which operates RSS said:

“Our partnership with GBRf gives RSS unparalleled capability when it comes to supplying the massive volume of aggregate needed for major infrastructure schemes like HS2. We’re proud to have made the first delivery to the project – the time and effort we have invested in planning the delivery of materials to this landmark scheme is beginning to pay off. As a preferred supplier to several sections of HS2 we’re looking forward to working with GBRf throughout the project to deliver bulk materials in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.”