Colas Rail

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Colas Rail
PredecessorSeco Rail
AMEC-Spie
FoundedSeptember 2007
Area served
United Kingdom
ServicesFreight operating company
Rail infrastructure renewal
ParentBouygues
Websitewww.colasrail.com

Colas Rail is a French rail freight company, formerly known as Seco Rail. It is a subsidiary of Bouygues.

History[edit]

47 739 and 66 847 in August 2012
70 809 in June 2019
On-track plant: a ballast regulator

Seco Rail was the name of the UK subsidiary of the French railway engineering company SECO which operates in Europe. SECO (Société d'Études et de Construction d'Outillage) was founded in 1931. In 2000 SECO was purchased by the road building company Colas. Whilst still based mainly in France, the company has subsidiaries in the UK and Belgium, and in 2006 became a train operator through its transportation of aggregates. In January 2008, Colas merged its Seco Rail operations with its other rail subsidiary AMEC-Spie, under the new operating name of Colas Rail, and also acquired the Plant division of Carillion Rail which was included in the new group.[1][2][3][4]

In 2007, Colas took charge of the Kronospan timber flow from Carlisle to Chirk. This was previously in the hands of AMEC-Spie and subsequently became Colas' first regular freight contract, run by hired-in locomotives. Also in 2007, Colas purchased three Class 47 diesel locomotives from EWS. All three were overhauled at Eastleigh Works and in September 2007, commenced operating railhead treatment trains in South West England for Network Rail.[5][6][7]

In late 2008, Colas commenced operating steel trains from Immingham to Washwood Heath with Class 56s hired from Hanson Traction.[8] In 2009, it commenced a further steel flow from Burton upon Trent to Dollands Moor using its own Class 47s.[9][10]

In late 2009, Colas leased four Class 66s (66 841–66 844) that had last been used by Advenza Freight.[11][12][13] These were joined by 66 845, that had last been used by Direct Rail Services. Following their owners concluding a deal to lease all five to GB Railfreight, Colas purchased five replacement locomotives (66 846–66 850, formerly 66 573- 66 577) that had previously been used by Freightliner. This coincided with Colas entering the UK coal haulage market.[14]

In 2012, Colas purchased four Class 56s.[15] By January 2014, Colas had purchased 11.[16] In 2012, Class 86 no. 86 701 was briefly operated on a trial service on the West Coast Main Line hauling former First Great Western Motorail wagons.[17] In May 2012, Colas purchased the Pullman Rail rolling stock maintenance business in Cardiff.[18][19]

In April 2013, Colas formed a joint venture with the Go-Ahead Group to bid for the concession to operate the Docklands Light Railway but later withdrew.[20][21] In November 2013, Colas placed an order for 10 Class 70s.[22][23] At the same time it purchased four Class 37s.[24][25]

In 2014, Colas purchased 10 Class 60s from DB Schenker with an option to purchase a further 10.[26][27] In 2015, Colas will commence operating infrastructure trains for Network Rail. To operate these a further four Class 37s have been purchased.[28][29]

In July 2018 Colas Rail sold all ten of its Class 60 locomotives to GB Railfreight.[30]

In 2021, Colas sold Pullman Rail to Transport for Wales.[31]

Colas Rail also owns and operates a mixed fleet of on-track plant for maintenance operations.

Fleet details[edit]

Class 70 diesel hauling the daily log train to Chirk, North Wales on the Settle - Carlisle line
Plasser & Theurer Tamping Machine, Colas Rail, at Hellifield, September 2021
Class 70 diesel at Ribblehead with a Network Rail engineering train in tow.

Current fleet[edit]

Class Image Type Built Fleet Size Numbers
09-16 CSM Tamper / Liner Carillion-73105-01.jpg Tamping Machine 1988 1 73105
08-16(32)U RT Plain Line Tamper Dawlish Warren - Colas DR73805.JPG Tamping Machine 2002 1 73806
08-4x4/4S-RT Switch & Crossing Tamper Plymouth - Colas DR73905.JPG Tamping Machine 1998-2010 14 73905, 73906, 73907, 73908, 73909, 73910, 73923, 73929, 73930, 73935, 73936, 73942, 73947, 73948
08-12/4x4C-RT Switch & Crossing Tamper Rockstone - Colas 73920 moving to Crediton.JPG Tamping Machine 2000 1 73913
08-16/4x4C100-RT Tamper Colas Rail DR73924 Tamper at Ipswich.jpg Tamping Machine 2001-2002 6 73919, 73920, 73921, 73922, 73925, 73931
B41UE Tamper 2014 Taunton track renewals - Colas Matisa B41UE 75407.JPG Tamping Machine 2005-2006 2 75406, 75407
USP5000C Ballast Regulator Reading Upper Triangle Sidings - Colas DR77327.JPG Ballast Regulator 1983 1 77327
USP5000RT Ballast Regulator Taunton - Colas DR77901 (USP5000RT ballast regulator).JPG Ballast Regulator 2003 1 77901
Unimat 09-4x4/4S Dynamic Tamper Fairwater - Colas DR75011 going to Tiverton.JPG Tamping Machine 2018-2020 4 75008, 75009, 75010, 75011
Self-Propelled Heavy Duty Twin Jib Crane Salisbury - Colas DRC78226.jpg Railway Crane 1980 2 78226, 78235
KRC1200UK Heavy Duty Diesel Hydraulic Crane 2019 Cogload Junction renewal - unloading track (01) 81612.JPG Railway Crane 2005 1 81612
Total 34
Class Image Type Introduced Fleet Size Wheel Arr Numbers
37 37421 Diesel locomotive 1960-1965 12 Co-Co 37025*, 37057, 37099, 37116, 37175, 37219, 37240, 37254, 37418*, 37421, 37610**, 37612**

* on hire from preservation
**on loan from Harry Needle Railroad Company

43 1975-1982 3 Bo-Bo 43045, 43050, 43060[32]
56 56302 1976-1984 10 Co-Co 56049, 56051, 56078, 56087, 56090, 56094, 56096, 56105, 56113, 56302[33]
66 66849 1998-2015 5 66846–66850
67 Derby - Colas 67027.JPG 1999-2000 2 Bo-Bo 67023, 67027
70 70803 2014
2016-7
17 Co-Co 70801–70817
Total 49

Past fleet[edit]

Class Image Type Introduced Number Wheel Arr Numbers Sold to
37 Taunton - Colas 37421 with Ultrasonic Test Train.JPG Diesel locomotive 1960-1965 1 Co-Co 37521 Locomotive Services
47[34] 47749 1962-1967 3 47727, 47739, 47749 GB Railfreight
60 Bristol Temple Meads - Colas 60076.JPG 1989 10 60002, 60021, 60026, 60047, 60056, 60076, 60085, 60087, 60095–60096
66 Colas Rail 66744 at Ipswich.jpg 1998-2015 5 66841–66845
86 86701 Electric locomotive 1965-6 1 Bo-Bo 86701 Exported to Bulgaria.[35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Freight/renewals firm Amec Spie Rail to be sold to Colas" Rail Express issue 131 April 2007 page 11
  2. ^ Colas swoops on Carillion's rail plant business New Civil Engineer 9 January 2008
  3. ^ Colas Rail On Track Plant 2 February 2008
  4. ^ Company Colas Rail
  5. ^ "Colas Rail 47s ready to go at Eastleigh" Today's Railways UK issue 71 November 2007 page 54
  6. ^ "Colas unveils Class 47s" The Railway Magazine issue 1279 November 2007 page 89
  7. ^ "The new operators" Rail issue 614 25 March 2009 page 59
  8. ^ "Hanson Class 56s in Colas steel trial" The Railway Magazine issue 1293 January 2009 page 84
  9. ^ "Colas Rail wins steel traffic" Rail issue 614 25 March 2009 page 10
  10. ^ "New steel flows for Colas Rail" Today's Railways UK issue 89 1 May 2009 page 7
  11. ^ "66s added to Colas operations" Rail issue 639 18 November 2009 page 20
  12. ^ "Colas takes on Advenza 66s" The Railway Magazine issue 1304 December 2009 page 9
  13. ^ "Last two ex-Advenza GMs join Colas Rail" Rail Express issue 166 March 2010 page 31
  14. ^ "Colas Rail begins running coal trains from Wolsingham" Rail Express issue 183 August 2011 page 11
  15. ^ "Colas Rail buys four Class 56s" The Railway Magazine issue 1332 April 2012 page 9
  16. ^ "Who owns UK's main line locomotives" Rail issue 741 5 February 2014 page 56
  17. ^ Colas to use 86701 for a trial Electric Traction 3 September 2012
  18. ^ Colas buys Pullman Rail Railway Gazette International 30 May 2012
  19. ^ "Colas takes over Pullman Rail" Rail Express issue 194 July 2012 page 7
  20. ^ Go-Ahead shortlisted for Docklands Light Railway with partner Colas Rail Ltd Go-Ahead Group 17 April 2013
  21. ^ Go-Ahead pulls out of DLR competition Global Rail News 30 August 2013
  22. ^ Colas Rail orders 10 GE Transportation PowerHaul locomotives Railway Gazette International 21 November 2013
  23. ^ "Colas Rail orders Class 70s" Today's Railways UK issue 145 January 2014 page 60
  24. ^ "Colas Rail buys preserved Class 37 for main line operations" Rail issue 740 22 January 2014 page 26
  25. ^ "Colas buys three preserved 37s for main line work" Rail issue 741 5 February 2014 page 31
  26. ^ "Colas snaps up Schenker's redundant Class 60s" The Railway Magazine issue 1358 May 2014 page 76
  27. ^ "Test run for overhauled 60" Rail issue 779 22 July 2015 page 29
  28. ^ "Colas Class 37s readied for main line duty at Barrow Hill" Rail issue 778 8 July 2015 page 29
  29. ^ "Colas gears up for IM deal" Railways Illustrated September 2015 page 18
  30. ^ "GB Railfreight buys more locomotives".
  31. ^ Holden, Michael (10 August 2021). "Transport for Wales purchases Pullman Rail Ltd from Colas Rail". RailAdvent. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  32. ^ Steuart Douglas, Euan (7 October 2020). "Colas Class 43 HST". Twitter.
  33. ^ "56049 Colas freight debut – the Class 56 Group".
  34. ^ GB Railfreight buys three Class 47s
  35. ^ "Class History AL6/86". The AC Locomotive Group. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2017.

External links[edit]