Thursday, September 5, 2019

Two Rail Freight Carriers Work to Improve Track Borne Cargo Services

Environment in Mind for Infrastructure and Intermodal Matters
Shipping News Feature

UK – Two of the leading lights in the British rail freight sector have announcements this week, with a multi-million pound investment programme to improve track and rail infrastructure from DB Cargo UK, whilst GB Railfreight (GBRf) is to commence a new intermodal service from one of the country's leading container ports.

Over the next 12 months, DB Cargo UK will replace more than 20 kilometres of track at its depots at Immingham in North Lincolnshire, Rotherham in South Yorkshire and Toton in Nottinghamshire. Work started at the weekend in Immingham, with work due to begin at Rotherham at the end of the month. DB Cargo UK’s Head of Safety and Operations Dave Ethell said the work was a major investment and would deliver significant operational improvements. He continued:

“This investment will further improve the safety and reliability of those services we operate out of Rotherham, Immingham and Toton. These are the first of a number of strategically-important sites that we are investing in over the next five years, with others earmarked to follow. It will reduce the risk of derailments and improve the safety of our colleagues, ensuring minimal disruption to the services we operate for our customers. It’s excellent news.”

In order to reduce costs and minimise the environmental impact of the improvement work, track reclaimed from DB Cargo UK’s site at Washwood Heath near Birmingham will be used to upgrade parts of Immingham and Rotherham. The work at Immingham will involve the replacement of track in the sorting sidings where wagon maintenance and refuelling activities are undertaken.

Meanwhile GB Railfreight has started a five day a week intermodal service from Solent Stevedores, Southampton, to Maritime’s terminal in Trafford, Manchester. This will be the third daily service GBRf offers from one of the UK’s leading deep-sea container ports. Stuart Cullen, CEO of Solent Stevedores, said:

“We are delighted that GB Railfreight has started a new service from Solent Stevedores to Manchester. We have a strong working relationship and are thrilled that our partnership is flourishing through their new intermodal services from our terminal”.

The new addition represents GBRf’s 17th intermodal service to date, following unprecedented growth in this market over the last two years. Intermodal traffic now accounts for approximately 36% of all rail freight industry wide with the claim that an average freight train removes 80 HGV journeys from roads every day.

GBRf says this continued expansion into the intermodal market emphasises the increasingly vital role rail freight plays in delivering goods around the country as environmental matters take up an even larger portion of the transport agenda. With the advantageous performance in terms of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter emissions over transport by truck, the company says rail freight demonstrates a clear contribution to the challenge of meeting the UK’s carbon-cutting targets. John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, commented:

“I am thrilled to see the beginning of this new service. Our growth in intermodal shows GBRf’s dedication to innovation, offering flexible door-to-door solutions that meet our customer’s needs, as well as a consistently reliable service. We are very proud of the hard work that has been put in to be the industry’s trusted intermodal carrier.”