GB Railfreight Holds Recruitment Day for Military Service Leavers in Peterborough

On Wednesday 12 February, GB Railfreight, in partnership with the Ministry of Defence’s Career Transition Partnership (CTP), held their first recruitment day specifically for military service leavers at its newly opened locomotive simulator facility in Peterborough

GB Railfreight is the third largest rail freight operator in the UK and one of the fastest growing companies in the railway sector, transporting goods for a wide range of customers. As the business continues to grow, GBRf are seeking to recruit ex-military staff for Groundstaff and Trainee Train Manager (Driver) positions in various locations within the UK including, Peterborough, Doncaster, London, Scotland and Midlands.

The recruitment day provided military service leavers a broad understanding of the exciting opportunities available for a railway career within GBRf and how the military skill set transfers to the sector.

Service leavers had the opportunity to hear from the GBRf team and other service leavers who have successfully made the transition into GB Railfreight, whilst also learning about current and future opportunities within the business. In addition, attendees had a chance to experience what it’s like to drive a GBRf locomotive by taking part in a test drive using one of the facility’s simulators unveiled last year.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said:

“We are on a recruitment drive for new people to join our growing team across the country and the skill set that military service leavers proses make them great candidates for a career with us. We partnered with CTP to make our recruitment day a success and welcomed 30 ex-military personnel to our brand-new locomotive simulator in Peterborough to show them what a life on the railways looks like. I hope many will consider joining our ranks in the future!”

Rail Minister Chris Heaton Harris MP said:

“Every part of society should honour the debt we owe those who’ve served our country. Getting our veterans into quality jobs in our rail sector not only provides security for them and their families but boosts the economy of global Britain.

 “I’m proud that this Government recently announced a new Veteran’s railcard, extending discounted fares to more than 830,000 former service personnel, and delighted that GB Railfreight, and the wider rail industry, is doing its bit.”

For further information about working with GB Railfreight, please email Gemma Platt on

GB Railfreight Raise £184,517 for Charity

GB Railfreight are thrilled to announce that staff have raised £184,517 for Headway – the brain injury association, and Macmillan Cancer Support. Fundraising ran from January 2018 and ended in December 2019.

Over the past decade, GBRf has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for national and local charities. These charities change periodically but are always chosen by GBRf employees and are often linked with railway personnel. Headway and Macmillan have been GBRf’s chosen charities since 2018.

The two charities do incredible work in their respective fields with Macmillan not only helping with the medical needs of people affected by cancer, but also looking at the social, emotional and practical impact cancer can have, whilst campaigning for better cancer care. Headway works to promote understanding of all aspects of brain injury and provide information, support and services to survivors, their families and carers.

John Smith, Managing Director GBRf, said;

“I am absolutely delighted that once again our brilliant team have managed to raise an incredible amount of money to support the work being undertaken by Headway and Macmillan. These charities are very well deserving of every single penny.

Our employees have been organising all sorts of fundraising events, from bake sales and cycle rides, to the four-day charity charter and the pump trolley challenge. I am always impressed by the lengths GBRf colleagues will go to for a good cause.”

 Jo Plant, Director of Fundraising at Headway, said:

“We would like to say a massive thank you to GB Railfreight and its staff for all their efforts over the past two years. To raise more than £90,000 is an incredible achievement and we are so grateful to everyone who contributed, either by directly donating or by giving up their time.  

Every year around 350,000 people are admitted to hospital with an acquired brain injury. That’s one every 90 seconds. That’s why receiving the support of charity partner’s like GB Railfreight is vital to us.

The funds it raised will enable our frontline services to help so many people living with the effects of brain injury across the UK. Thank you!”

 Leena Sirpal, Regional Fundraising Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:

“A huge thank you to GB Railfreight for raising an incredible amount of money for Macmillan Cancer Support. This will go such a long way to help so many people living with cancer.

With the number of people living with cancer in UK continuing to rise, the work we do at Macmillan is more urgent than ever. We are extremely grateful for the support from GB Railfreight.”

GB Railfreight delighted to announce the return of its four-day ‘Charity Railtour’

GBRf Charity Railtours, the fundraising arm of GB Railfreight, is excited to announce that it will return in 2020 with another 4-day charity rail tour, the third such event since 2016.

From 24 September to 27 September 2020 the organisation will be raising money for Prostate Cancer UK. The GBRf train will visit different parts of the country following some of the more interesting routes and will be accompanied by GBRf’s more ‘unusual’ locomotives.

GBRf had decided to retire its tours in 2018. However, after much-admired colleague Des O’Brien passed away at relatively short notice having suffered an aggressive stomach cancer in 2018 and in June 2019 Paul Taylor was also diagnosed with prostate cancer, the team at GBRf decided restart the tours with the strapline: “This Time it’s Personal”.

Commenting on the decision to organise the Charity Railtour, GBRf Managing Director John Smith said:

After GBRf 2018, the team behind these trains took some time to reflect and opted against doing another. Then, following the sudden passing of our colleague Des and the diagnosis of Paul Taylor with prostate cancer, the team decided it was time to return the tours in aid of Prostate Cancer UK, which is also our charity of choice for our company-wide fundraising efforts.

 “We are absolutely delighted to be returning these incredibly popular tours and we will be hoping to raise even more money than before for Prostate Cancer UK because for us, this issue is personal.”

More details will be announced in February before a full announcement of the itinerary in March 2020. Bookings will open in early April, and the release date will be announced in advance.

GB Railfreight and Whitley Bay F.C. Under 8s Agree New Kit Deal

GB Railfreight are pleased to announce that they have recently sponsored Whitley Bay F.C. Juniors under 8s Juve who play in the Pin Point League, Keegan Division. The sponsorship means the team can now look the part and have enough strips for new members who will join towards the end of the 2019/20 season.

John Watson, Port of Tyne TM and Father of Sam (pictured far left) said:

“The sponsorship from GBRf will allow the team to have enough strips for the next 2 years which is really important. After winning their division last season they have been placed in a higher division this time around, and it shows!

Whitley Bay F.C. Juniors U8 Juve Lost their first game 5-1 against local rivals North Shields, Sam scoring the only goal, it’s going to be tough season! Once we get the passing right, we’ll be halfway there. Thank you for all your help”

GBRf wishes the team the best of luck for the remainder of the season and we hope they put their new kits to good use.

GBRf Renew Sponsorship with Potteric Carr Nature Reserve

GB Railfreight are delighted to renew our sponsorship with Potteric Carr Nature Reserve for another year. Situated next to the GBRf Doncaster Office, Potteric Carr Nature Reserve give local wildlife a safe haven to survive and flourish.

GBRf encourages people to visit the site and enjoy the abundance of habitats the South Yorkshire nature reserve has to offer.

Sarah Robinson, Corporate Partnerships Assistant at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, said:

“We are delighted GB Railfreight has decided to sponsor Potteric Carr Nature Reserve for another year. Potteric Carr is famed for its wetland birds including bitterns and marsh harriers and provides a real oasis to animals in South Yorkshire.

A huge thank you to the whole organisation for helping Yorkshire Wildlife Trust keep wild places like this safe.”

GB Railfreight Supporting Headway and Macmillian

Over the past decade, GBRf has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for national and local charities. These charities change periodically but are always chosen by GBRf employees, and are often linked with railway personnel. Currently we are supporting Headway and Macmillan. We encourage your to visit their websites and read about the amazing work these charities do, amazing work only made possible by people like you supporting them.

GBRf encourages all its employees to take part in fundraising events, these can range from a bake sale to running a 5 day charter train. Pictured above is Daniel Matthews, delivering 40 bags of cloths /bric-à-brac to Headways head office in Nottingham

GB Railfreight’s charity charter trains raises over £145,000 for amazing causes

Starting on Thursday 20th September, GB Railfreight (GBRf) ran their Second 4-day marathon charity rail tour, raising money for some amazing causes.

The four day charter saw passengers travelling to an array of locations across the UK. On day one, passengers travelled from London Victoria to Bristol and Bridgend, before returning to London Paddington. Day two saw travellers leave London Euston and travel to Wellingborough and Tonbridge before returning to London Waterloo. The weekend was an overnight trip which started at London Waterloo on Saturday, before travelling to Blackpool North, via the Central Belt of Scotland to Fort William before stopping for the night in Glasgow, and returning to London Paddington on Sunday morning

During the tour, 18 locomotives were used and there were a number of firsts. On day one of the tour, the train’s return into London Paddington marked the arrival of the first electric locomotive into the station carrying passengers, the same was true of its entry to Blackpool North on day three of the tour. It is also highly unusual for passenger services to visit Wellingborough and Tonbridge freight yards.

The tour was the brainchild of GBRf Managers Paul Taylor, Dale Williams and Ian Grey. But these tours could not be done without the help of over 50 staff across the GBRf team, including volunteer Train Managers, Guards and an army of stewards and helpers from all parts of the business.

In total the four-day event raised £145,732. This will go towards GBRf’s two chosen charities: Macmillan Cancer Support and Headway.

Macmillan not only helps with the medical needs of people affected by cancer, but also looks at the social, emotional and practical impact cancer can have, and campaigns for better cancer care.

Headway works to promote understanding of all aspects of brain injury and provide information, support and services to survivors, their families and carers. It was chosen by GBRf following one of its staff members suffering a brain aneurysm in January 2017. GBRf has been supporting these charities since the beginning of 2018 and will continue to do so until the end of this year.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said:

“I am absolutely thrilled that for a second time, the GBRf team has pulled together such a fantastic schedule of routes and locos to raise money for causes that are very close to GBRf’s heart.
These amazing tours are a testament to the GBRf team, from the office staff, to train crews and planners, who give up their own time to make them happen. I am very proud of the fact that including this charity tour and other fund-raising events GB Railfreight have raised over £155,000 for charity this year, so far”

Paul Taylor, General Manager at GB Railfreight, said:

“We would also like to give special thanks to our suppliers, in particular fellow FOCs Colas and Freightliner and the infrastructure provider Network Rail, who’s kind efforts and contributions make the tour a possibility.”

GB Railfreight signs Armed Forces Covenant in honour of Armed Forces Day

GB Railfreight signs the Armed Forces Covenant in honour of Armed Forces Day

In honour of Armed Forces Day, on 28th June 2018, GB Railfreight once again showed its ongoing commitment to the Armed Forces community by signing the Armed Forces Covenant. The Covenant represents a promise by the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly.

Through the Covenant, GB Railfreight recognises the value serving personnel, reservists, veterans and military families bring to their business, with GB Railfreight promising to uphold the following commitments:

  • Proactively demonstrating the fact that we are an armed forces-friendly organisation by promoting the various branches of the military and honouring the sacrifices of serving and retired personnel and their families have made;
  • Seeking to support the employment of veterans, young and old, and working with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), in order to establish a tailored employment pathway for Service Leavers at GB Railfreight;
  • Striving to support the employment of Service spouses and partners, recognising through our working practices that special consideration is often required, and providing the flexibility that entails, for instance around spousal deployment;
  • Seeking to support our employees who choose to be members of the Reserve forces, including by accommodating their training and deployment where possible, and providing consideration for their spouses in such circumstances;
  • Offering support to our local cadet units, either in our local community or in local schools, where possible, offering opportunities to see the work of GB Railfreight, to hear from our workforce, and to provide backing for events that the units wish to run or take part in;
  • Aiming to actively participate in Armed Forces Day to commemorate the heroism of our servicemen and women from all branches of the military.

We will publicise these commitments through our literature, and/or on our website, through media engagement, and via our workplace app, Track Chat, setting out how we will seek to honour them and inviting feedback from the Service community and our customers on how we are doing.

GB Railfreight’s signing of the Armed Forces Covenant formalises a history of commitment from the company to supporting the armed forces community. In addition to its employment of ex-services personnel, GB Railfreight has previously renamed two of its Class 66 locomotives ‘Royal Corps of Signals’ and ‘HMS Argyll’, painting them in a special livery and adorning them with crests and insignia.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said of the Covenant:

“Both personally and as a company, we are honoured to now be a business signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant. The work that the men and women of our armed forces do could never be fully repaid, but GB Railfreight hopes that through our signing of the Covenant, in a small way we can show our enduring gratitude to the sacrifice that is made on a daily basis by these brave men and women, as well as their families back home.

Ex-servicepeople bring a unique skill set to GB Railfreight, and we look forward to welcoming more heroes to the GB team going forward.”

Wizard show help guide dogs for the blind

Leanne Buckley, GBRf’s Peterborough-based Locomotive Fleet Planner called on the Wizard of OBS to help her dance school put on a whizz of a show to raise money for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Leanne joined the Vera Frances School of Dance a year ago, just as it was to put on a three-night production of the Wizard of Oz. Everyone involved with the school was asked for sponsorship suggestions and Leanne asked GBRf for support to cover the cost of producing the programme.

“We wanted every penny to go to the charity,” explained Leanne, who had landed the part of an Emerald City Guard. “With GBRf’s help we managed to smash our target and beat previous shows by quite a margin.”