|Type||Rail industry (freight)|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Key people||Peter Maybury (CEO)|
|Services||Bulk freight & intermodal logistics|
|Revenue||£230 million +|
|Divisions||Intermodal, Heavy Haul,
Freightliner Group is a rail freight and logistics company, formed in the United Kingdom in 1995, and now having expanded into Australia, The Netherlands and Poland. It is the second largest rail freight operator in the United Kingdom after DB Schenker Rail (UK).
The origins of the Freightliner concept go back to the mid-1960s when as part of its modernisation and rationalisation programme, British Rail began moving freight using shipping containers on flat wagons between a series of dedicated inland terminals, using gantry cranes for transshipment between road and rail.
Freightliner's first single-shipper train was operated on 20 August 1968, hauling specially-designed 30-foot containers carrying parts for Ford Escort cars that were destined for assembly in plants on the European mainland. Although initially intended for domestic freight, this was soon overtaken by freight between deep-sea ports, such as Southampton Maritime and inland distribution terminals associated with centres of manufacturing or population, such as Birmingham Lawley Street.
Dudley Freightliner Terminal, 10 miles (16 km) from Birmingham, on the site of the old railway station was opened in October 1967. This proved to be one of the most profitable such terminals in the country, while the Birmingham terminal was ultimately one of the least financially viable. Yet by 1981, Freightliner was planning to close Dudley and transfer its function to Birmingham in order to boost the latter's fortunes. However, the Dudley terminal was given a reprieve in 1983, only for closure plans to re-emerge in 1986. It finally closed in 1989.
As part of the Privatisation of British Rail the Freightliner business unit had its assets transferred into a new company, Freightliner (1995) Limited, in preparation for sale. On 25 May 1996 Freightliner was purchased by a management buyout backed by 3i and Electra Private Equity.
In 1999 Freightliner set up its Heavy Haul business. In March 2004 Freightliner launched Logico, providing short-term or one-off spaces on intermodal trains. In 2007 Freightliner commenced operations in Poland.
In June 2009 Freightliner commenced operations in Australia.
When Freightliner was privatised in 1996, it only operated Intermodal container services. These ran from ports including Felixstowe, Southampton and Tilbury to terminals such as Birmingham, Trafford Park in Manchester, Ashton Gate in Bristol, and Wentlooge near Cardiff. The network has been expanded with additional destinations added. Freightliner also operate an extensive road distribution network with 300 road vehicles.
In 1999 Freightliner set up Heavy Haul initially operating railway infrastructure trains for Network Rail moving ballast, rails etc. before moving into other bulk loads including aggregates, cement, coal, petroleum, scrap metal and waste. Initially run as a division of Freightliner Limited, in 2001 operations were transferred to a new subsidiary, Freightliner Heavy Haul Limited.
In April 2006 Freightliner Maintenance Limited was established as a separate entity dedicated to the repair and maintenance of traction and rolling stock.
In 2006 Freightliner expanded its operations into Poland. A subsidiary company, Freightliner PL Sp. z o.o., was established to bid for contracts hauling coal traffic. The first contract was for coal transport from Lubelski Węgiel Bogdanka SA near Bogdanka (Bogdanka-Lublin coal mine) to Kozienice Power Station. The service began in September 2007. Most of Freightliner PL's services operate on the Gdańsk to Warsaw corridor and in southern Poland.
Freightliner began exploring opportunities in the Australian rail market with Freightliner Australia Pty Ltd established by April 2007. By June 2008 Freightliner Australia had been accredited as a rail operator in the state of New South Wales and by September 2009 also had accreditation in Queensland and Western Australia. In June 2009 Freightliner Australia commenced operating containerised cotton services from Wee Waa to Port Botany. In September 2009 Freightliner Australia signed a 10-year deal with Xstrata to haul export coal from the Hunter Valley to Newcastle, commencing in late 2010. Under the deal Xstrata own the rolling stock with Freightliner Australia providing the engineering, logistics, maintenance and operational support. In May 2012 Freightliner Australia commenced operating a Warren to Port Botany service.
In 1997 Freightliner placed an order for six Class 57 locomotives. These were rebuilt by Brush Traction at Loughborough from Class 47s fitted with a refurbished EMD engine and a reconditioned alternator, improving reliability and performance. The first was delivered in July 1998. After an evaluation period Freightliner was sufficiently impressed to order a further six in June 1999.
Various orders were placed for Class 66s with 111 eventually delivered. These had replaced all of the Class 47s by 2004 and the Class 57s by 2008. Freightliner also leased some Class 66s formerly operated by Direct Rail Services.
In November 2007 Freightliner announced an order for 30 Class 70s under a project called Project Genesis. The first two were delivered in November 2009. These have released a number of Class 66s with five going to Colas Rail, 13 to Freightliner Poland and four to GB Railfreight.
Freightliner PL ordered seven EMD Class 66s & 432 Greenbrier coal hopper wagons. These have been supplemented by an EMD Class 66 formerly used by Häfen und Güterverkehr Köln and 12 Class 66s transferred from Freightliner's UK operations. A 13th was sent from the UK in October 2012. These units underwent various modifications to allow them to operate on the Polish network.
Freightliner Australia commenced operations using hired in GL class locomotives from Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia. After a longer term lease was agreed, two were repainted into Freightliner livery in September 2010. The Warren service that commenced in May 2012 also uses locomotives hired from CFCLA. The Xstrata coal contract is operated by XRN class locomotives that are owned by the customer. Wagon types are PHEH and PHYH for the coal traffic and CQBY, CQFY and CQYY on the grain traffic.
|Class||Type||Introduced||Wheel arr.||In traffic||Numbers|
|Class 08||Diesel Shunter||1953||0-6-0||10||08077/530/531/575/585/624/691
|Class 66||Diesel||1998 onwards||Co-Co||7 (Class 66/4)||66413-66416/418-420|
|94 (Class 66/5)||66501-520/522-581/585/587-599|
|21 (Class 66/6)||66601-607/610/613-623|
|7 (Class 66/9)||66951-957|
|Class 86||Electric||1965||Bo-Bo||1 (Class 86/5)||86501|
|16 (Class 86/6)||86604/605/607/609/610/612-614
|Class||Type||Introduced||Wheel arr.||In traffic||Numbers|
|EMD Series 66||Diesel||2006-07||Co-Co||21||66001-015 & 66601-606|
|Class||Type||Introduced||Wheel arr||In traffic||Numbers|
|GL Class||Diesel||1971-72 remanufactured 2004||Co-Co||2||GL111-112|
|Class||Type||Introduced||Wheel arr.||In traffic||Numbers||Notes|
||Shunting and local operations|
|Vossloh G 2000||Diesel||Bo-Bo||
||Shunting and local operations|
|EMD Class 66||Diesel||Co-Co||Withdrawn, lease ended|
|BR182 (Siemens ES 64 U2)||Electric||Bo-Bo||
|BR185 (Bombardier TRAXX)||Electric||Bo-Bo||
|BR189 (Siemens ES 64 F4)||Electric||Bo-Bo||
57012 Freightliner Envoy at Ipswich on 31 January 2004
66534 OOCL Express in the Freightliner livery introduced in 1998 at Virginia Water in April 2004
66605, with Freightliner 40 1965-2005 at Dundee on 6 June 2007
86613 and 86610 at Ipswich on 14 February 2004
70001 leaves Clay Cross Tunnel working 0Z70 Lawley Street - Leeds Midland Road
- Freightliner: Corporate Financial Accessed 6 August 2010
- Freightliner: About us Accessed 6 August 2010
- "British Railways Board Freightliner Brochure 1965".
- "Fords run first company Freightliner". Modern Railways (Shepperton, Middlesex: Ian Allan Ltd.) XXIV (241): 551. October 1968.
- Companies House extract company no 3118392 Freightliner (1995) Limited
- "Secretary of State for Transport publication 27 November 1996".
- Companies House extract company no 6522978 Railinvest Holding Company Limited
- "Freightliner acquired by Arcapita". 13 June 2008.
- "Electra Priv Equity ELTA Final Results". 13 June 2008.
- "Freightliner Intermodal Terminal & Ports Network".
- Companies House extract company no 3831229 Freighliner Heavy Haul Limited
- Companies House extract company no 5713164 Freightliner Maintenance Limited Limited
- Freightliner prepares to compete in Poland, 1 March 2007
- "Freightliner PL wykona zlecenie dla LW Bogdanka", www.rynekinfrastruktury.pl (in Polish), 26 September 2011
- "Polish freight progress", www.railwaygazette.com, 19 October 2007
- "NSW Accredited Operators". Independent Transport Safety and Reliability Regulator. www.transportregulator.nsw.gov.au. Archived from the original on 19 June 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2008.
- http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/single-view/view/freightliner-australia-begins-with-cotton-contract.html Railway Gazette International 2 July 2009
- Sam Collyer (2 July 2009). "UK's Freightliner enters Australian rail market". Lloyd's List DCN. www.lloydslistdcn.com.au. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
- "Freightliner signs deal with Xstrata Coal". Media Release. www.freightliner.co.uk. 25 September 2009. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
- Xstrata launches its own rail service, 21 September 2010
- "Freightliner Group announces acquisition of ERS Railways", www.railwaygazette.com, 19 Jun 2013
- Rail Magazine (556), 3 January 2007: 54
- "GE enters UK loco market". Railway Gazette International. 26 November 2007.
- AB Rail UK Loco database
- FPL 66s Revised Data Table 15 March 2012
- Motive Power magazine issue 76
- Xstrata Fleet List
- XRN Class
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Freightliner.|
- Freightliner PL (in Polish)
- Mike Smith, Air Braked Container Services, Goods and Not So Goods website, 2003