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Fastline Ltd
Fate Dissolved
Founded 1994
Defunct 2010
Headquarters Doncaster, United Kingdom
Area served
United Kingdom
Services Freight transportation
Track maintenance equipment
Parent Jarvis
Fastline Class 56 56303 seen at Kingsheath operating an intermodal service in 2007.
Fastline Class 66 66434 seen at Chester operating a Chirk to Carlisle logging train for Colas Rail, 4 months after Fastline ceased trading.

Fastline was created by six railwaymen who undertook a successful management buyout (MBO) of Eastern Track Renewals from British Rail in 1996. In that year they bought Northern Track Renewals from British Rail, and undertook all the studies and examinations that resulted in their acquiring a Harsco Track Renewals Train, the first continuous-process track relaying system in the country. They also examined the possibility of acquiring their own diesel locomotives because of dissatisfaction with the service provided by others for engineering trains. The company was acquired by Jarvis, who later resurrected the Fastline name to create a railway freight operator. It operated a fleet of Class 56 and Class 66 locomotives. The class 56s cost £700,000 each to refurbish. A fourth and a fifth Class 56 (56311 & 56312) were hired in from Hanson Traction Ltd. Fastline's base was at Doncaster, Yorkshire. It ceased trading when Jarvis plc entered administration and subsequently ceased trading in late March 2010.[1] The company is in administration with N.G. Edwards, N.B. Kahn, P.S. Bowers and I. Brown of Deloitte LLP.


Container traffic[edit]

The company's main operation at first was 4O90, a container train to Thamesport on the Isle of Grain, which operated in the afternoon/evening, and returned in the early hours of the next morning, usually utilising Class 56 locomotives. Since the end of Fastline's container traffic flows from Doncaster to the Isle of Grain, the class 56s were intended to be used on Fastline's coal flows.

Coal flows[edit]

They also ran several coal flows including from Hatfield to Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station, using Class 66s and a new build of coal hoppers. Coal flows run by Fastline included:

Fleet details[edit]

Each machine (except number 66434) were for sale by administrators. 66301-305 Taken on by Direct Rail Services, with on-hire 66434 now returned to the Direct Rail Services fleet and now branded in Malcolm Rail livery.

Number Class Current livery Introduced Status
56301 56 Fastline Grey 2005 Barrow Hill
56302 56 Colas Rail 2005 Operational; Colas Rail#Current fleet
56303 56 Great Western Railway green livery 2005 Previously hired from FM Rail/RVEL Operational
66301 66 DRS blue 2008 Operational
66302 66 DRS blue 2008 Operational
66303 66 DRS blue 2008 Operational
66304 66 DRS blue 2008 Operational
66305 66 DRS blue 2008 Operational
66434 66 DRS blue 2008 Operational
A track tamper in Jarvis PLC Fastline livery at Chester station.
Locomotive disposals

Numbers 56301 and 56302 have been preserved and were moved to Barrow Hill Engine Shed in April 2011.[2]


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