Friday, April 24, 2020

Locomotive Dedicated to Those Who Are Putting Their Own Lives at Risk from Pandemic

Unveiling Timed to Coincide with Weekly Celebrations
Shipping News Feature

UK – It might not equate to the £28 million and rising raised by Captain Tom Moore's walk in his garden but everyone is keen to demonstrate support for the NHS in their own way, and this week those caring for others were celebrated by having a locomotive dedicated to them.

Every week since the pandemic really started to hit home millions of those in lockdown have stood outside their homes to noisily offer thanks to all those who are maintaining vital services. GB Railfreight (GBRf), one of the UK’s largest rail freight operators, decided to mark the fifth, now weekly ‘clap,’ by repainting one of its freight locomotives and unveiling it at 8pm just as millions of people across the UK were stepping outside their front doors to thank the frontline workers who are putting their lives on the line to save countless others across our hospital and care homes.

The repainting of 66731 was co-funded by the locomotive’s owner and long-term GB Railfreight partner, rolling stock leasing specialist Porterbrook. The painting was undertaken by Arlington Fleet Services, Eastleigh. GBRf staff joined in with the clapping as the newly decorated locomotive was unveiled to express their gratitude to all those working to keep us safe during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Mary Grant, Porterbrook CEO, commented:

“We are delighted to support GB Railfreight in thanking NHS staff and carers for all that they do at this unprecedented time in our nation’s life. Porterbrook is also hugely grateful to all the front-line railway staff, including John’s team, who are the unsung heroes in keeping Britain’s economy moving.”

GBRf services are playing a vital role in ensuring the continuation of supplies and trains are running from ports such as London Gateway, Southampton, Felixstowe and Teesport to distribution centres across the country. These flows are ensuring that warehouses remain stocked, and supermarkets as well as other essential retailers remain supplied. John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight said:

“Thank you to all NHS staff and carers across the country for the hard work you have been doing to keep us safe. Across the UK you are seeing week in, week out, an outpouring of love and affection of our frontline staff and we are taking a minute today to say our thanks on behalf of GB Railfreight and the rail industry.

“The unveiling of this locomotive is our way of saying thanks for all you are doing. We are inspired by you and wanted to say thank you in the usual GBRf way, by painting one of our regular Class 66 which will be travelling the lengths and breadths of the country to keep our economy moving during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Now it will also carry our message of thanks to all our carers.”