Three-way partnership for another new wagon deal with GB Railfreight

GBRf New England House (02) 960

GB Railfreight and rolling stock leasing company Porterbrook have announced a deal to deliver fifty new box wagons for the UK operator. Production duties will be handled by the multinational manufacturer Greenbrier. It is the latest deal in a fifteen-year relationship and says much about expected growth in rail freight demand.

The new wagons will help GBRf serve the domestic construction and civil engineering sector. The booming economy in the southeast of the UK, centred on London, demands raw materials, principally from the far west and the north of England. The rail freight sector is benefitting from the heavy volumes required.

Commitment to supporting sustainability

A statement from GBRf says the transaction marks a renewed commitment from the companies to developing sustainable freight transport to meet the significant expected growth in the sector. Recent research by rail industry consultants IPEX, based on the UK market and commissioned by Porterbrook, cited projections that intermodal rail freight is forecast to grow by over 10 per cent between 2022 and 2034, while construction sector traffic is expected to increase by up to 35 per cent over the same period.

The new box wagons to be delivered to GB Railfreight.

The partnership between GB Railfreight, Porterbrook and Greenbrier builds on rail’s strong environmental credentials. It also supports the government’s broader transport decarbonisation plans by encouraging a modal shift in transporting goods from road to rail. “By partnering with Porterbrook, the new rolling stock marks our commitment to supporting sustainability in the construction sector”, said David Golding, Asset Director at GB Railfreight. “As we look towards the future, this investment will help meet the growing demand for rail freight services, whilst playing a key role in delivering Government’s net-zero targets.”

Aggregates growth

The deal comes almost a year to the day since the same three partners signed a contract to construct and lease one hundred units of Greenbrier’s 60-foot intermodal twin wagons. Deliveries of that contract are underway, and the deal is for a ten-year lease. GBRf made a statement of intent by providing rolling stock and motive power for last week’s demonstration of the Furrer+Frey retractable power supply system at Tarmac’s Wellingborough aggregates facility.

While there is steady growth in the intermodal market, GBRf says the aggregates sector is moving ahead rapidly. According to the operator, around 20 million tonnes of aggregates are transported by rail each year. Construction materials account for almost 30 per cent of all freight moved on the Network when measured in net tonne-kilometres). Their figures predict annual growth in the number of construction materials moved by rail to be in the region of three per cent, and their rolling stock commitment backs their figure of 35 per cent over the next ten years.

Calls for volume manufacturing in the UK

Manufacturing will undoubtedly take place in one of Greenbrier’s eastern European facilities. While it may be a disappointment that a UK facility does not exist with the capacity for large scale manufacturing, there is no such shortage of leasing company capacity. “[This] announcement strengthens Porterbrook’s long-term commitment to investing in rail freight and the tangible benefits this will bring to the economy and the UK’s green recovery”, said Mark Wyborn, the Head of Freight at Porterbrook.

GBRf provided rolling stock and motive power for last week’s demonstration of the Furrer+Frey retractable power supply system at Tarmac’s Wellingborough aggregates facility (GBRf)

“We are thrilled that GB Railfreight has chosen to extend its partnership with Porterbrook and support us in our ambitions to bring green, innovative and affordable rolling stock options to the UK supply chain”, Wyborn added. With a growing demand for rail freight traffic, there is also an increasing well of opinion that the UK could support a volume manufacturer in the freight sector.

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Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

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Three-way partnership for another new wagon deal with GB Railfreight | RailFreight.com

Three-way partnership for another new wagon deal with GB Railfreight

GBRf New England House (02) 960

GB Railfreight and rolling stock leasing company Porterbrook have announced a deal to deliver fifty new box wagons for the UK operator. Production duties will be handled by the multinational manufacturer Greenbrier. It is the latest deal in a fifteen-year relationship and says much about expected growth in rail freight demand.

The new wagons will help GBRf serve the domestic construction and civil engineering sector. The booming economy in the southeast of the UK, centred on London, demands raw materials, principally from the far west and the north of England. The rail freight sector is benefitting from the heavy volumes required.

Commitment to supporting sustainability

A statement from GBRf says the transaction marks a renewed commitment from the companies to developing sustainable freight transport to meet the significant expected growth in the sector. Recent research by rail industry consultants IPEX, based on the UK market and commissioned by Porterbrook, cited projections that intermodal rail freight is forecast to grow by over 10 per cent between 2022 and 2034, while construction sector traffic is expected to increase by up to 35 per cent over the same period.

The new box wagons to be delivered to GB Railfreight.

The partnership between GB Railfreight, Porterbrook and Greenbrier builds on rail’s strong environmental credentials. It also supports the government’s broader transport decarbonisation plans by encouraging a modal shift in transporting goods from road to rail. “By partnering with Porterbrook, the new rolling stock marks our commitment to supporting sustainability in the construction sector”, said David Golding, Asset Director at GB Railfreight. “As we look towards the future, this investment will help meet the growing demand for rail freight services, whilst playing a key role in delivering Government’s net-zero targets.”

Aggregates growth

The deal comes almost a year to the day since the same three partners signed a contract to construct and lease one hundred units of Greenbrier’s 60-foot intermodal twin wagons. Deliveries of that contract are underway, and the deal is for a ten-year lease. GBRf made a statement of intent by providing rolling stock and motive power for last week’s demonstration of the Furrer+Frey retractable power supply system at Tarmac’s Wellingborough aggregates facility.

While there is steady growth in the intermodal market, GBRf says the aggregates sector is moving ahead rapidly. According to the operator, around 20 million tonnes of aggregates are transported by rail each year. Construction materials account for almost 30 per cent of all freight moved on the Network when measured in net tonne-kilometres). Their figures predict annual growth in the number of construction materials moved by rail to be in the region of three per cent, and their rolling stock commitment backs their figure of 35 per cent over the next ten years.

Calls for volume manufacturing in the UK

Manufacturing will undoubtedly take place in one of Greenbrier’s eastern European facilities. While it may be a disappointment that a UK facility does not exist with the capacity for large scale manufacturing, there is no such shortage of leasing company capacity. “[This] announcement strengthens Porterbrook’s long-term commitment to investing in rail freight and the tangible benefits this will bring to the economy and the UK’s green recovery”, said Mark Wyborn, the Head of Freight at Porterbrook.

GBRf provided rolling stock and motive power for last week’s demonstration of the Furrer+Frey retractable power supply system at Tarmac’s Wellingborough aggregates facility (GBRf)

“We are thrilled that GB Railfreight has chosen to extend its partnership with Porterbrook and support us in our ambitions to bring green, innovative and affordable rolling stock options to the UK supply chain”, Wyborn added. With a growing demand for rail freight traffic, there is also an increasing well of opinion that the UK could support a volume manufacturer in the freight sector.

You just read one of our premium articles free of charge

Want full access? Take advantage of our exclusive offer

See the offer

Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

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