GB Railfreight Celebrates Locomotion’s 15th Anniversary with Class 66 Naming

GB Railfreight Celebrates Locomotion’s 15th Anniversary with Class 66 Naming

GB Railfreight are pleased to announce the naming of one of our Class 66 locomotives as part of the celebrations around the 15th anniversary of the opening of Locomotion, Shildon, on Saturday 21 September.

In honour of the occasion, a Class 66 ‘Locomotion 15’ has been named. GBRf hope to see the museum carry on its inspiring work for another 15 years, educating all generations about the important role of the railways and its technological developments.

GBRf actively work with both the National Railway Museum and others to promote railways of yesterday, today and the future, and to preserve our wonderful heritage especially in such a unique and exciting venue as Locomotion.

By naming the Class 66 loco ‘Locomotion 15’ GBRf are delighted to be part of the museum’s history. Locomotion has played an important role in showcasing the national collection of railway vehicles in an historic railway town, and GBRf have been a long-time supporter of the museum. Previously, GBRf provided locomotives for display, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with the best in modern traction in the rail freight sector.

Bob Tiller, GBRf Engineering Director, said;

“We are thrilled to unveil ‘Locomotion 15’ to celebrate the success of the museum on its 15th anniversary. The work Locomotion do to showcase the history of the railways is an inspiration and I hope visitors are encouraged to find out more about the important role rail freight plays across the country.”

Sarah Price, Head of Locomotion, said:

“The newly named ‘Locomotion 15’ is a wonderful way to mark our anniversary. GBRf have provided us with much support over the years and we hope that our visitors keep an eye out for the locomotive as it travels across the UK.”

GB Railfreight Celebrate Release Of Newly Repainted Class 47s

GB Railfreight (GBRf) are today proud to release from repaint two of their Rail Service Class 47 locomotives, numbers 47 739 and 47 749 named ‘City of Truro.’

The locomotives have been repainted by Arlington Fleet Services at Eastleigh and will be moved to Leicester, where they will be based specially for GBRf Rail Service moves of rolling stock. These locomotives have been fitted, along with a third 47 727, with translator and Dellner Couplings for hauling unit stock moves.

47 739 has been painted in the GBRf blue livery and 47 749 has been painted in British Rail blue livery with GBRf logos and red backed nameplates. Both have the new GBRf Rail Services logo applied.

Bob Tiller, Director of Engineering at GBRf, said:

“GBRf are pleased to have refurbished and repainted these locomotives to provide a reliable and efficient traction to our Rail Services division. With the inbuilt translator equipment, we can provide a flexible service to multiple unit moves and other rolling stock.”

GB Railfreight and Class 50 Alliance collaboration sealed with locomotive repaints

UK rail freight operator GB Railfreight (GBRf) and the Class 50 Alliance (C50A) have today announced that mainline registered Class 50 locomotives 50007 Hercules and 50049 Defiance are to be repainted into the latest GBRf livery.

GBRf worked closely with the C50A in enabling a return to the mainline for their locomotives in 2017 and subsequently through a programme of railtours during 2018 as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Class 50s.

The decision to repaint the locomotives into the striking new livery is a recognition of the developing relationship between the two organisations and marks a new chapter in the story of the Class 50s.

Over the past two years, GBRf has invested in a programme of driver training to enable Class 50 operation over much of the UK rail network. The company has also operated several railtours using the 50007 and 50049s, including The Caledonian in October 2017, returning class 50s to Glasgow for their 50th anniversary.

The repaints will be carried out by Arlington Fleet Services at Eastleigh. GBRf will fund the repainting and also manage the movement of the locomotives to and from Eastleigh.

The first outing for the GBRf-liveried Class 50s will be on Saturday 23rd March when they will work Pathfinder Tours’ Teminator-Pheonixed railtour from London Paddington to Penzance and return to Waterloo. This train will mark 25 years since the final BR operated Class 50 railtour over the same route, The Terminator, which was also promoted by Pathfinder.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said:

“I am delighted that GBRf is sponsoring the repainting of 50007, Hercules and 50049, Defiance, into GBRf livery. Our relationship with the class 50 alliance has grown over the years, with the painting of the two locomotives being an excellent way to recognise the fact. Having first witnessed class 50’s at Crewe in the early 1970s, I never thought the day would arise when one would be painted in the livery of GBRf. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the finished article(s).”

Jonathan Dunster, Director Class 50 Alliance said:

“Today’s announcement marks a significant next step in the story of the Class 50s, and we’re delighted to build on our already successful relationship with GBRf.”

“Since we successfully returned Class 50s to the mainline in 1997, we have gained a great deal of experience, working with many stakeholders across the industry. We have operated around 80 railtours, supplied power for timetabled service trains in South Wales and operated numerous freight and route learning duties. For GBRf to cement our relationship in this way is fantastic news and we look forward to working with the team on an exciting future programme, which kicks off in style when we head to Penzance on 23rd March.”

Following the repaints, the locomotives will be available to operate selected GBRf trains on a ‘spot-hire’ basis. This work will include movement of locomotives between heritage railway gala events, and future railtours. The locomotives will continue to be based at the Severn Valley Railway, but will have easy access to the national network, thanks to the 24-hour connection at Kidderminster.

50007 and 50049 will be unveiled in their new livery at a private event at Eastleigh Works, prior to working a test run and then the railtour on 23rd March.

GB Railfreight And The Worshipful Company Of Paviors Christen ‘The Pavior’

GB Railfreight, in partnership with The Worshipful Company of Paviors, is today (14th September) pleased to announce the naming of its new locomotive, The Pavior.

The locomotive, number 66758, was christened at a ceremony at Tarmac’s Harper Lane site in Radlett at 12.30pm this afternoon. The loco is named in honour of The Worshipful Company of Paviors, who were historically responsible for the pavements of the City of London, and over the years have been critical to the development of the craft of paving, road making, general construction and infrastructure. Its modern membership includes the leaders of construction in the UK. The loco will be used across the GBRf business and numerous routes going forward.

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

“We have always been proud of our longstanding friendship with The Worshipful Society of Paviors, an organisation of such great history and pageantry. We are delighted that GB Railfreight today becomes part of the Paviors’ rich history with the naming of The Pavior, long may our friendship continue.”

Dyfrig James, The Master of The worshipful Company of Paviors said:

“The Paviors are extremely proud to have a locomotive named after them, it is a very significant moment in our 700-year history and demonstrates the close link with the industry of today. Our sincere thanks to GB Raifreight and its CEO John Smith in particular.”

About the Worshipful Society of Paviors
The Paviors are a City of London Livery Company with records dating back to 1276 but now with aims to promote the craft of paving through outreach programmes and fellowship.

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GB Railfreight and Biffa christen “The Flying Dustman”

GB Railfreight and Biffa christen “The Flying Dustman”

Today (Wednesday 28th March) GB Railfreight (GBRf) and Biffa, the waste management company, christen locomotive 66 783 “The Flying Dustman”, to mark the partnership between the two firms. The locomotive has also been painted red in honour of Biffa, rather than the usual blue seen on most of GBRf’s other locomotives.

“The Flying Dustman” was chosen following a naming competition amongst Biffa staff, who were keen to pay light-hearted homage to the historic passenger train service, “The Flying Scotsman”.

The locomotive, which will haul waste on routes across the UK, was named at a ceremony on platform 7 at York station at 2.45pm this afternoon. The locomotive was officially named by John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight and Ian Wakelin, CEO of Biffa.

Mr Smith said:

“We are delighted that GBRf are bringing a sense of fun to the industry with today’s naming. It could not be more fitting name for our collaboration with Biffa, one of the UK’s leading waste management companies, and we look forward to working together over the coming years.”

Mick Davis, Managing Director of Resource Recovery & Treatment Division at Biffa, said:

“The launch of “The Flying Dustman” is an exciting development for Biffa. The partnership with GBRf marks another step forward in our strategy to develop our waste management infrastructure and innovate our customer offering. By increasing the mobility of inactive waste, rail transportation will enhance our service offerings from our existing landfill network whilst also providing significant environmental benefits compared to road transportation. We look forward to working with GBRf over the years to come.”

The locomotive will be seen around the whole of the UK, hauling all kinds of freight from waste and biomass to intermodal.


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About GB Railfreight
Founded in 1999 and headquartered in London, United Kingdom, GB Railfreight is the third largest rail freight operator in the United Kingdom, with a turnover in excess of GBP 120m. GB Railfreight is one of the fastest growing companies in the railway sector and transports goods for a wide range of customers.

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About Biffa
Biffa is a leading UK-based integrated waste management business. The Group operates across the breadth of the waste management value chain, including the collection, treatment, processing and disposal of waste and recyclable materials, as well as related work in the production and sale of energy derived from waste and the sale of recovered commodities such as paper, glass, metals and plastic. Biffa’s customer base for these services includes local authorities (which includes the collection of waste from households), large corporates and SMEs, and purchasers of end-product commodities and energy. Across its operations, the Group managed approximately 3.3mT of waste in Fiscal Year 2017. The Group’s services are organised across four operating divisions: Industrial & Commercial; Municipal; Resource Recovery & Treatment (RR&T); and Energy. In Fiscal Year 2017, the Group’s total revenue was £990.4 million and its underlying EBITDA was £137.7 million. Biffa was successfully admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities in October 2016 under the ticker “BIFF”.

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GB Railfreight delivers Christmas

GB Railfreight delivers Christmas

Even Father Christmas needs a helping hand and this year GB Railfreight (GBRf) will be taking some of the load as it begins to deliver products that will soon be on the shelves of the UK’s major grocery stores and retailers, ready to be opened by adults and children alike all over the UK in time for the 25th December.

Operating its first intermodal service from Solent Stevedores terminal at ABP Port of Southampton to ABP Hams Hall Rail Freight Terminal, GBRf will be helping to spread Christmas cheer and ensuring supermarkets and high street stores meet what is expected to be high levels of demand over Christmas.

Speaking about the opportunity, John Smith, GBRf’s managing director, said: “GBRf is delighted that we, along with our new client Wincanton, will be able to help Father Christmas bring joy and happiness to the whole country this year. And that we will be able to do so in a way that reduces the impact that moving so many presents around could have on things like air quality, if they went by road. Our priority at this time of year is to ensure that everyone has a very merry Christmas, and we will be working to deliver this to the whole of the UK.”

This marks a significant expansion of GBRf’s activities as it will be the second deep-sea port from which the company operates rail services. It realises a long-held ambition.

At 02:39am, the class 66 engine 66703 Doncaster PSB departed hauling 34 platforms fully laden with containers on its first round-trip on behalf of Wincanton, a service that will operate daily (Tuesday to Saturday). Its containers will carry cargo for major high street retailers that will end up distributed across the country for consumers to purchase in time for Christmas.

GBRf will operate this service for five years, having been awarded the contract on Friday 20th October, and continues to demonstrate how the company is one of the rail freight industry’s great success stories. This has seen it pioneer the development of alternative core commodity markets such as intermodal freight.
John Smith also said: “I am so proud to see GBRf continue to grow and expand into new markets, working with new clients, and showing how rail can help decongest our roads and clean our air. This new contract is a testament to our staff’s work ethic and their dedication to the highest standard of customer service.

“Over the next five years we will work closely with our new partners at Wincanton to ensure we deliver the services they require and provide their business with the certainty they need. We are sure that this is only the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership that will enable both organisations to flourish.”

Also commenting on the new service, Fiona Robson Managing Director of Solent Stevedores said

“We are pleased to welcome GBRf as a rail user to our terminal and look forward to the continued expansion of more rail freight from ABP Port of Southampton.”

ABP Southampton has also undergone recent upgrades that will support the new contract between GBRf and Wincanton. £2.4m has been invested in a new 5.8 acre facility operated by Solent Stevedores, which has seen turnaround times halved, vastly improved capacity, and driven container throughput.

Alastair Welch, ABP Southampton Director, said: “The improvements to the rail freight facilities enable Solent Stevedores to increase the number of containers they can handle and an increase to the number of trains coming to the port. This is an excellent example of partnership working.”

For further information, please contact:
Westbourne Communications
020 3397 0100

About GB Railfreight
Founded in 1999 and headquartered in London, United Kingdom, GB Railfreight is the third largest rail freight operator in the United Kingdom, with a turnover in excess of GBP 120m. GB Railfreight is one of the fastest growing companies in the railway sector and transports goods for a wide range of customers.
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