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GB Railfreight (GBRf) and Rail Stone Solutions (RSS) are delighted to unveil two contracts to support construction on the first phase of HS2. The deals, with HS2 contractors EKFB (Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial BAM Nuttall) and BBV (Balfour Beatty VINCI) will see GBRf join forces with RSS to deliver aggregates by rail to the high speed ...
(Permalink) GB Railfreight HS2 Rail Stone Solutions

GB Railfreight and Lindum took part in a joint event on 30 July to bury a 'time capsule' at the site of the new office to mark the next phase of construction.
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The train is promising to take the strain of some of the booming market in ecommerce deliveries, after a rail freight operator revealed plans to use old Intercity 125 trains to whisk parcels from Yorkshire to north London.
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Private equity fund EQT Infrastructure II announced on November 15 that it had completed the acquisition of Groupe Eurotunnel’s UK freight operating subsidiary GB Railfreight. The acquisition with an enterprise value of €180m has been made through an indirectly-owned company within Hector Rail Group, Sweden’s largest private freight operator which is active across Scandinavia and Germany. [From Charlie Niven]
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GB Railfreight unveiled the final ever Class 66 to be built for the UK and European markets on May 10.
In a ceremony at the National Railway Museum, 66779 was named Evening Star. It has been painted in lined express Brunswick green in a similar style to that of the last steam locomotive built, 9F 92220, which was also named Evening Star. The two locomotives were displayed together during the ceremony. [From Mark Bartlett]

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Settle: BR Standard class 9F 2-10-0 no 92220 Evening Star storms through Settle on 30 September 1978 with the Bishop Treacy memorial special.
John Robin 30/09/1978


Grosmont: The last steam locomotive to be built by British Railways in 1960, class 9F 2-10-0 92220 Evening Star, pictured leaving Grosmont (and how) in 1986 while operating on the North York Moors Railway.
Colin Miller //1986


York: BR Standard class 9F 2-10-0 no 92220 'Evening Star' waits on the down centre road in York station on 4 July 1976 prior to taking over the NELPG's 'Scarborough Spa Flyer', which it will work to the seaside resort and back.
Bill Jamieson 04/07/1976

The final batch of seven Class 66 locomotives are on their way to Doncaster, having been unloaded at the Port of Newport over the weekend.
Due to changes in EU emissions standards, these will be last new Class 66 locomotives to be built.
It is a significant milestone both for the recipient of the locomotives, GB Railfreight, and the manufacture of diesel locomotives, with a next-generation, diesel locomotive thought to be several years of development away.
The seven locomotives are numbered 66773 to 66779. They will take GBRf’s fleet of Class 66s to 78 locomotives. [From Richard Buckby]
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Oxford: There's no answer to that... Freightliner 66607 looks puzzled as it pulls up with a northbound ballast train at Oxford on 17 May for a crew change.
Peter Todd 17/05/2011


Tomatin: DB Schenker liveried Class 66 No.66101 at Tomatin on 26 October heading north with a heavily laden ballast train.
John Gray 26/10/2013


Alloa: EWS 66004 passes through Alloa on its way back to Hunterston on 4 March 2009 with Longannet empties, dwarfing the 3-car 170 at the station platform forming the next service to Glasgow Queen Street.
David Panton 04/03/2009

BRITISH construction materials supplier Tarmac has awarded five-year contracts to four rail freight operators as it seeks to increase the volume of aggregate and other materials it moves by rail.
Under the new contracts, Colas Rail will operate cement trains from Oxwellmains cement works, which is situated east of Edinburgh at the northern end of the East Coast Main Line. GB Railfreight will operate aggregate trains from Swinden, Thrislington and Dry Rigg quarries in northern England, while Freightliner has been awarded a contract for aggregates operations from Tunstead in central England. [From Richard Buckby]
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Buxworth: BR Sulzer Type 2 No. 25 100 brings a load of limestone from Tunstead to Northwich downhill through Buxworth cutting, early on the afternoon of June 11th 1977. The ICI owned bogie hoppers were already about forty years old at this time but were to soldier on for a further twenty or so.
Bill Jamieson 11/06/1977


Skipton: 31319 leads 31202 eastbound through Skipton station in March 1988 with a loaded Tilcon working from Swinden Quarry. 08707 stands in the siding in the centre background.
David Pesterfield 22/03/1988


Welsh^s Bridge Junction: Three Class 24s and a rake of Presflos for Oxwellmains dominate this view of Millburn Yard, Inverness, in Spring 1973.
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //1973

GB Railfreight ran its first train for Drax Power yesterday (October 26), hauling biomass from the Port of Liverpool to Drax Power Station in Selby (North Yorkshire).
The operator’s only Class 59, 59003 Yeoman Highlander, led the train of 25 wagons, carrying a total of 1,600 tonnes of biomass pellets, with 66706 at the rear.

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Drax: An EWS class 66 departs from Drax power station with coal empties.
Ewan Crawford //


Shand Road Occupational Crossing: At Shand Road Crossing the Liverpool Docks branch divides with the line to the bulk load terminal and Alexandra Dock running off to the left and that to the Seaforth Container Terminal to the right.
Ewan Crawford 20/06/2003


Rotherham Masborough: Looking north over the former Rotherham Masborough station on 13 October 2014 as 47815 hauls 59003 Yeoman Highlander south to Eastleigh Works from Immingham docks. The ex-Foster Yeoman class 59 had been repatriated from Germany following purchase by GBRf.
David Pesterfield 13/10/2014

This weekend marked the 40th anniversary since the re-opening of the West Somerset Railway and to mark the occasion the GB Railfreight originally called GBRf 66757 was named 'West Somerset Railway'.

The West Somerset Railway runs from Bishops Lydeard for 22.75 miles to the seaside town of Minehead, and is the longest standard gauge heritage railway in the UK.
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Williton: 3850 eastbound shortly after leaving Williton on the West Somerset Railway on 30 May 2010 with a train for Bishops Lydeard.
Peter Todd 30/05/2010


Minehead: 6960 Raveningham Hall on the tuirntable at Minehead on 2 September 2012.
Colin Alexander 02/09/2012


Bishops Lydeard: Churchward ex-GWR 2-8-0 no 3850 with a train at Bishops Lydeard on the West Somerset Railway on 31 May 2010.
Neville Davies 31/05/2010

GB Railfreight is leasing Class 90s from Freightliner to operate Serco’s Caledonian Sleepers, as the allocated Class 92s are in need of servicing.
“Following a couple of recent failures, we have now decided to temporarily remove the Class 92s from front line service on the Caledonian Sleeper to enable GBRf and its maintenance partners to tackle the issues that have been causing concern”, said David Simpson, Serco production and safety director for the Caledonian Sleeper. [From Mark Bartlett]

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Euston: Locomotive 90021, still in EWS ScotRail livery, stands at Euston platform 15 on 10th February 2015 just after bringing in the empty stock of the Lowland Caledonian Sleeper.
Colin McDonald 10/02/2015


Preston: During April 2015 the Caledonian Sleeper produced 87002 on the front on several occasions when Class 92 locomotives were not available. At just before 0100 hrs on the 20th it appeared at Preston once again working the train as far as Edinburgh.
John McIntyre 20/04/2015


Edinburgh Waverley: 92018 in the simple and elegant Caledonian Sleeper livery stabled in the siding opposite Platform 7 at Edinburgh Waverley on 18 May 2015.
David Panton 18/05/2015

Rail sleeper services between Scotland and London are to be handled by a freight specialist firm as part of the new franchise.
GB Railfreight has been signed up by Serco to provide locomotives and drivers when it takes over the Caledonian Sleeper service from April.
The trains run between London Euston and five Scottish destinations.
The contract, to run in both directions six nights a week, is worth around 100m spread over 15 years.
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Glasgow Central: 92036 departs from Platform 1 for Polmadie with the empty Glasgow Central portion of the Caledonian Sleeper on 4 July 2008.
Graham Morgan 04/07/2008


Loughborough Central: GBRf electro-diesel no 73961 (ex-73209, 73120, E6026) converted to Class 73/9 by Brush Traction during 2014, standing in the GCR sidings at Loughborough on 2 October. The locomotive is currently undergoing a running-in test programme on the Great Central.
Peter Todd 02/10/2014


St Rollox Works: A Caledonian Sleeper Lounge Car emerging from the car park area at St. Rollox by road on 16 April 2013. The shiny new red springs suggest it has been receiving attention at RailCare.
Colin McDonald 16/04/2013

EUROPE: UK freight operator GB Railfreight ran its first service through the Channel Tunnel on the night of November 3, hauling a Dourges London intermodal service between Calais-Frthun and Barking International Rail Freight Terminal.
The train was operated under a hook-and-haul agreement with sister Groupe Eurotunnel company Europorte France, which has a contract to move containers from Dourges to Barking for logistics company John G Russell Ltd. GBRf used two of the 16 Class 92 electric locomotives which it had purchased from Europorte earlier this year.
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A new 45 million railway line north of Doncaster has opened.
GB Railfreight was the first operator to officially use the newly-constructed North Doncaster Chord, which was recently completed by Network Rail.
The 3.2km double track chord links the Skellow and Askern lines and allows freight trains to travel over the East Coast Main Line, instead of crossing it on the level and reducing capacity. It also prevents them from conflicting with passenger services.
(Permalink) GB Railfreight Network Rail

Following a recent increase in business, GB Rail Freight approached us recently regarding the hire of 55 022 for use on a freight working [From Richard Buckby]
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York: Deltic 55022 Royal Scots Grey departs York on 24 July bound for Scarborough with a private charter.
Michael Gibb 24/07/2010


St Leonards Bridge Junction: The Autumn Highlander, Kings Cross to Inverness arriving at Perth. Loco 55022 Royal Scots Grey.
Brian Forbes 05/10/2007


Darlington [Bank Top]: 55022 Royal Scots Grey with an Edinburgh - Kings Cross service about to leave Darlington Bank Top on 22 June 1981.
Colin Alexander 22/06/1981

UK - FRANCE Europorte, a wholly owned subsidiary of Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel, have purchased First GBRf, formerly GB Railfreight and the third largest rail freight company in the country, from previous owners First Group plc.

(Permalink) First Group GB Railfreight


Dalgety Bay: GBRf 66726 with Aberdeen - Harwich tanks passing through Dalgety Bay on 11 June 2008. This can best be described as an occasional service.
Bill Roberton 11/06/2008


Cardross: GBRf 66728 and a practise load of two class 325 mail trains returning east towards Glasgow along the banks of the Clyde having been on a driver training run to Fort William.
Ewan Crawford 14/02/2010


Wansbeck Viaduct: GBRf 66714 Cromer Lifeboat takes a southbound freight over the Wansbeck viaduct on the Blyth & Tyne between North Seaton and Marchey's House on 2 September 2009.
Colin Alexander 02/09/2009

The company that runs the Channel Tunnel between the UK and France will today take a step forward in its efforts to boost cross-Channel rail freight when it announces it is buying the UK's third-largest operator.
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Kensington Olympia: 92016 Brahms with the 03.37 Trafford Park - Dollands Moor (ultimate destination Bari, Italy) heads south through Kensington Olympia on the West London Line on 20 July 2005. Standing in the bay on the left is a District Line train for Earls Court and High Street Kensington.
John Furnevel 20/07/2005


Harwich Town: Before the Channel Tunnel was opened, Harwich Town station saw considerable train ferry activity, as seen here in April 1978 with 08 460 (the regular engine) drawing out the traffic from Zeebrugge. Usually, loading and unloading was timed with the tide to ensure the ship to shore ramp was horizontal, but in later years staff became more prepared to attempt the job with the ramp set at a very steep angle. Perhaps by trial and error, they discovered that Class 08 locos are quite capable of hauling heavy loads up 30 degree slopes!
Mark Dufton 15/04/1978

First Group, seeking to pay down debt, has appointed KPMG to look for buyers for GB Railfreight, the company's freight operating unit. First Group acquired GBRf in 2003 as part of its takeover of GB Railways, but the freight unit remains an anomaly in the company's otherwise passenger-only portfolio. Freightliner, French state railway SNCF and Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel have all been touted as potential buyers. [Modern Railways]

(Permalink) First Group GB Railfreight


Woodhorn: GBRf 66714 Cromer Lifeboat with a freight ex-Lynemouth heading towards Ashington on the Blyth & Tyne. Photographed near Woodhorn on 2 September 2009.
Colin Alexander 02/09/2009


Rhu: GBRf Class 66 No 66714 Cromer Lifeboat takes Alcan tanks north at Rhu on the West Highland Line on 9 April 2010. It will shortly pass the returning southbound tanks at Garelochhead around 19.30.
John Robin 09/04/2010


Camden Road: Westbound containers from Felixstowe destined for the Midlands rumble across the bridge spanning the A503 and through Camden Road station in July 2005. The route is part of the heavily used inter-regional freight corridor utilising the North London Line. The locomotive is GBRf 66716.
John Furnevel 21/07/2005

GB Railfreight (GBRf) has won a three-year contract with Eurailscout GB Limited to provide driving services for the UFM160 infrastructure inspection unit.
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GB Railfreight has unveiled the first of a fleet of coal hopper wagons being built for its recently won coal contracts.
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GB Railfreight (GBRf) has won a contract with Mendip Rail to move recycled rail ballast from London to East Anglia.
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Royal Mail has extended its contract with GB Railfreight
(GBRf) to move mail by rail between London and Scotland
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GB Railfreight and Drax Power Limited have signed 'Heads of Terms' for the movement of imported coal from the Port of Tyne to Drax Power station near Selby, North Yorkshire
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GB Railfreight (GBRf) has opened a new train crew base at Bristol as it prepares to establish a larger presence in the South West, South Wales and South Midlands.
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GB Railfreight has been accredited to the ISO 14001:2000
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GB Railfreight and Drax Power Limited have signed a contract for the movement of imported coal to Drax Power station
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Royal Mail has extended its contract with GB Railfreight (GBRf) to move mail by rail.



The company took up the option to extend its agreement with GBRf to move around a million letters a day between London and Scotland by another year following a very successful 12 months of operations.



GBRf will continue to run two trains a day between Willesden, Warrington and Shieldmuir in Scotland, using Royal Mails class 325 units.



John Smith, GBRfs Managing Director, is delighted at the extension. He said that it was his companys reliability and flexibility that satisfied Royal Mail and led to the option to extend being taken up.



Our arrangement allows Royal Mail to increase or reduce the number of services they run on a night-by-night basis. We also put on specials at times of peak volumes, such as Christmas when we help them move some of the 120 million items a day they have to deal with.



"We recognize that Royal Mail needs a multi modal distribution network that is robust, flexible and provides a high quality of service. We will work hard to make sure we remain part of that network by continuing to offer Royal Mail a reliable and commercially viable rail option."



Paul Tolhurst, Network Director for Royal Mail Letters, said: Royal Mails number one priority is delivering excellent quality of service to its customers. One of our key requirements is to ensure we get high quality service from our suppliers and GB Railfreight has been very flexible in meeting Royal Mails needs. Were very happy, therefore, to extend our contract for a further year.
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