GB Railfreight (GBRf) are very pleased to announce an extension to their European freight operation in partnership with LINEAS, the largest private rail freight operator in Europe.
The existing traffic flow from Antwerp through to Irvine will continue for an additional two years. This announcement marks the extension of the existing contract which will now run until the end of December 2021, marking a 5-year relationship with LINEAS for this ‘hook and haul’ flow. The service has so far averaged around 30 trains a year and will continue to run approximately between two and three times per month.
The trains, which arrive in Calais from the LINEAS Rail operation, will consist of roughly 20 ICA Tank Rail Wagons and will carry 1200 tonnes of product per train. It will be transporting kaolin clay for the process of whitening paper which is produced at the UPM Caledonian Papermill in South Western Scotland.
GBRf will normally collect the product on a Tuesday night, run through the channel tunnel with Electric Traction. A Class 66 Loco then hauls through to UPM Irvine to arrive at around 7pm on the Wednesday night. Following unloading, GBRf return the empty set of wagons back to the Channel Tunnel by Friday night for a path back to Calais.
GBRf are currently operating intermodal services to and from the three largest ports in the UK. The Antwerp to Irvine operation builds on the company’s existing Intermodal services which is currently being managed by Julie Garn. This follows other European Traffic flows that GBRf have operated in the past.
John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said:
“I am delighted to announce that we are continuing our partnership with Lineas. Our strong relationship goes back many years and we are pleased to continue it until December 2021. This service will be the longest term of operation for running services through the Channel Tunnel for GBRf, something we are extremely proud of.
“In addition, the shift to rail freight is a vital part of decarbonising our transport system. Our partnership with LINEAS shows our commitment to doing our part to reach the ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2050 and we hope to build on this going forward.”
Geraldine Leyman, Senior Key Account Manager at LINEAS added:
“We are extremely pleased to have extended this contract. Our relationship with GB Railfreight is one we are extremely proud of and is the greatest example of the importance of cross-border cooperation.
“We couldn’t be happier with the service GBRf provide on the UK side and this contract extension is proof of that. We look forward to continuing this successful partnership in the years ahead.”