GB Railfreight

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Industry Rail
Founded 2001
Founders GB Railways
Headquarters London, England
Number of locations 12
Key people John Smith (Managing Director)
Services Freight train operator
Owners Eurotunnel Group
Parent Europorte
Website www.gbrailfreight.com

GB Railfreight[1] is a rail freight company in the United Kingdom. It is owned by Europorte, a subsidiary of Eurotunnel.

History[edit]

Class 66 in First GBRf livery at Doncaster station in September 2007
First GBRf logo

GB Railfreight was founded in 1999 by GB Railways.[2] Unlike competitors DB Schenker and Freightliner, the company was not formed from parts of the privatised British Railways freight sectors.

In April 2000, after winning an eight-year contract to operate infrastructure trains for Railtrack it ordered seven Class 66 locomotives.[3][4] An operator's licence was granted in July 2000.[5] Operations commenced on 1 April 2001.[6] In February 2002, GBRf commenced operating its first Intermodal container contract from the Port of Felixstowe for MSC Mendite.[7] Also in 2002, GBRf began its first bulk freight contract for British Gypsum.[8]

In August 2003, GB Railways was purchased by FirstGroup and GB Railfreight was rebranded First GBRf.[9][10]

In May 2005, First GBRf began operating Royal Mail services using Class 325s.[11][12] This was later extended until 2010.[13][14] Also in 2005, GBRf commenced operating London Underground infrastructure trains for Metronet.[8] In March 2007, First GBRf commenced operating coal trains for Drax Group and EDF Energy.[15]

In 2009, First GBRf was granted a passenger licence allowing it to operate charter services.[16] Between December 2009 and July 2010, First GBRf operated passenger services under contract to First Great Western. The services from Cardiff Central to Taunton operated with hired Virgin Trains Class 57/3s hauling Mark 2 carriages.[17]

In May 2010, FirstGroup put the business up for sale. Eurotunnel, Freightliner and SNCF were reported as being interested in the company.[18] The company was purchased by Europorte, a subsidiary of Eurotunnel, on 1 June 2010.[19] Following the acquisition by Europorte, the company reverted to its original name and a revised version of the original livery.

In February 2011, GBRf commenced operation of Cardiff Tidal/Tremorfa Works.[20] In 2012, GBRf commenced a ten-year contract to operate the 43 mile Sahavirirya Steel Industries Lackenby steelworks, Teesside network.[21]

In April 2015, GB Railfreight will commence a contract to haul the Caledonian Sleeper. Class 92s will haul it from London Euston to Edinburgh Waverley/Glasgow Central with rebuilt Class 73/9s to haul it from Edinburgh to Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William.[22] In 2015, a contract will commence for the testing of Class 800/801s. This will involve GBRf providing crews for the testing of the trains as well as hauling the sets.[23][24]

Fleet[edit]

Class 66 at King's Cross station in September 2004

To commence operations, seven Class 66/7s were ordered.[25] Subsequent orders brought the total purchased to 65 by the end of 2014.[26]

In October 2012 three unused Class 66s ordered by Crossrail Benelux, but stabled in the Netherlands were purchased, and later in 2013 a further two Class 66s that were previously in service in Europe were also obtained.[27]

GB Railways had purchased six former Gatwick Express Class 73s. After GBRf won a contract to operate Network Rail infrastructure trains in the south -east, four were overhauled by Frangonset Railways.[28]

GB Railfreight has 16 Class 92 locomotives acquired by Europorte before the purchase of GB Railfreight.[29]

GB Railfreight has also utilised heritage diesel locomotives. Class 20s are used on London Underground S Stock moves between Derby Litchurch Lane, Old Dalby Test Track and London Underground’s Neasden Depot. It hires these from various owners including Harry Needle Railroad Company.

It has also hired in preserved locomotives, including 55022 and D1015.[30][31][32][33][34] As at October 2014, it also had Class 47s on lease from Riviera Trains.[35]

GB Railfreight also has a pair of refurbished Vanguard 0-6-0DH locos (re-numbered DH50-1 and DH50-2) for use at Tremorfa/Cardiff Tidal works[36]

To operate services on the Lackenby steelworks, Teesside network, eight 1996/97 built Maschinenbau Kiel built locomotives were purchased from Norway.[21]

In August 2014, GBRf purchased 59003 from Heavy Haul Power International, Germany.[37][38]

Fleet details[edit]

Class Image Type Introduced Fleet Size Wheel Arr Numbers
Class 08 British Rail Class 08 Shunter - 08911 - National Railway Museum - York - 2005-10-15.jpg Shunter 1953 2 0-6-0 08925, 08934[39]
Class 09 Shunter 1959 2 0-6-0 09002, 09009[39]
Class 20 20030 and 20064 Shirebrook Depot.jpg Diesel locomotive 1957-1968 9 Bo-Bo 20096, 107, 142, 189, 227
311, 314, 901, 905[39]
Class 59 59001 'Yeoman Endeavour' at Doncaster Works.JPG Diesel locomotive 1985 1 Co-Co 59003 Yeoman Highlander purchased from Heavy Haul Power International, Germany[37] [38]
Class 66 66713 'Forest City' at Crewe Works.jpg Diesel locomotive 2002 55 Co-Co 66701-733, 735-765[39]
Class 73 73205 and 73204 at Eastleigh.jpg Electro-diesel locomotive 1966 16 Bo-Bo 73005, 006, 107, 109, 119, 136, 141, 201, 207, 212-213, 73961-965[39]
Class 92 Railfest 2012 MMB 88 92032.jpg Electric locomotive 1993 16 Co-Co 92006, 92010, 92014, 92018, 92020-92021, 92023, 92028, 92032–92033, 92038, 92040, 92043–92046
Vanguard 0-6-0DH Diesel locomotive 2011 2 DH50-1, DH50-2[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 3707899 GB Railfreight Limited
  2. ^ Schabas, Michael (October 2003). "Memorandum by GB Railfreight". Hansard. http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200304/cmselect/cmtran/145/145wec03.htm. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  3. ^ "GBR orders 66 fleet for Railtrack contract" Rail issue 382 3 May 2000 page 5
  4. ^ "GB Rail signs freight contract with Railtrack" The Railway Magazine issue 1190 June 2000 page 10
  5. ^ "GB Railfreight given licence" Rail issue 388 26 July 2000 page 4
  6. ^ "GB Railfreight signs deal with West Coast Traincare" Rail issue 406 4 April 2001 page 13
  7. ^ "GBRf starts container service to Selby" The Railway Magazine issue 1212 April 2002 page 95
  8. ^ a b "Making sure the mail on rail doesn't fail" Rail issue 609 14 January 2009 page 50
  9. ^ "GB Rail Offer Unconditional". Corporate News (Press release). FirstGroup plc. 14 August 2003. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "First Group buys GB for $22million" The Railway Magazine issue 1229 September 2003 page 10
  11. ^ "Mail to move by rail again". GB Railfreight News (Press release). 18 October 2004. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "Mail back on rail: GBRf wins postal contract" The Railway Magazine issue 1244 December 2004 page 4
  13. ^ "GB Railfreight wins Royal Mail contract". GB Railfreight News (Press release). 20 May 2005. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  14. ^ "FirstGBRf wins new contact (sic) with Royal Mail". GB Railfreight News (Press release). 15 June 2007. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  15. ^ "GBRf aims to be first for freight" Rail issue 603 22 October 2008 pages 38-42
  16. ^ "GBRf expands operations with charter trips" Rail issue 645 2 June 2010 page 34
  17. ^ First Great Western Taunton Trains
  18. ^ Barnard, Bruce (3 May 2010). "European Rivals Bid for GB Railfreight". The Journal of Commerce. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  19. ^ "Eurotunnel buys GB Railfreight from FirstGroup". Railway Gazette. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  20. ^ Bray, Martin (14 December 2011). "Cardiff Tidal Sidings". Tidal, Margam & Canton. Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  21. ^ a b "GBRf buys Norweigian locos for steelworks" The Railway Magazine issue 1329 January 2012 page 85
  22. ^ "The Sleepers are stirring" Rail issue 756 3 September 2014 page 70
  23. ^ "GBRf wins IEP test contract for Class 800/801 trains" The Railway Magazine issue 1351 November 2013 page 80
  24. ^ "IEP trains to undergo night testing on East Coast line" Rail issue 738 25 December 2013 page 16
  25. ^ "GB Railways Class 66s" The Railway Magazine issue 1188 April 2000 page 11
  26. ^ "Last GBRf 66 being built in US…first now in traffic in UK" Rail issue 754 6 August 2014 pages 28-29
  27. ^ "GBRf to Bring Trio of Euro 66s to Britain" The Railway Magazine issue 1340 December 2012 page 11
  28. ^ "New lease of life for GB Railways Class 73s" The Railway Magazine issue 1236 April 2004 page 67
  29. ^ "GBRf spends £50m on new Class 66/7s and Class 92s" Rail issue 741 5 February 2014 page 6
  30. ^ GB Railfreight hires 55022 Royal Scots Grey 10 April 2011
  31. ^ "Deltic joins GBRf fleet" The Railway Magazine issue 1322 June 2011 page 9
  32. ^ "GBRf hires Deltic to haul EMUs" Rail issue 722 page 15 May 2013 page 35
  33. ^ "GBRf hires a Western to haul Midlands freight" The Railway Magazine issue 1353 December 2013 page 7
  34. ^ "D1015 to stay with GBRf" Railways Illustrated February 2014 page 8
  35. ^ "More Riviera Trains 47s lined up for GBRf duties" Rail issue 750 11 June 2014 page 28
  36. ^ Trotter, Phil. "Industrial Diesel & Electric Locomotives" (photo gallery annotation). Retrieved 18 October 2012. "GBRf's DH50-1 … to replace ageing class 08s here with reconditioned industrial locomotives; … as rebuild no. 9376 of 2011." 
  37. ^ a b GB Railfreight brings hardy 'Yeoman Highlander' back to the UK GB Railfreight 19 August 2014
  38. ^ a b Yeoman Highlander to return to the UK Rail Express 20 August 2014
  39. ^ a b c d e f GBRf Fleet Allocation 16 October 12 wnxx.com 16 October 2012[dead link]

External links[edit]

Media related to GB Railfreight at Wikimedia Commons