Latest Rail News

18.02.15

GB Railfreight wins contract to haul Caledonian Sleepers

GB Railfreight has won the contract to haul Caledonian Sleeper trains for Serco, beating out current operator DB Schenker.

This contract for the Eurotunnel subsidiary is worth £100m over 15 years and will commence in April.

GB Railfreight will be providing train drivers and locomotives for six night services southbound and six night haulage services northbound per week, from Sunday to Friday. These services will be operating on both the Lowland Sleeper route, between Euston and Edinburgh and Glasgow, and the Highland Sleeper route between Euston and Fort William, Aberdeen and Inverness.

DB Schenker had been hauling sleepers for more than a decade, but its current contract with FirstGroup ends when Serco takes over the newly-created separate Caledonian Sleeper franchise this spring.

From the beginning of the contract, four refurbed Class 92s will be used on the electrified routes south of Edinburgh and Glasgow. North of Edinburgh, the company is planning to utilise six class 73/9s from October 2015, which are currently undergoing work at Wabtec’s facility in Loughborough. In the meantime, it will be operating Class 47s, on hire from Harry Needle Railroad Company (HNRC).

GB Railfreight has called the contract a “significant development” for the company, highlighting its intentions for growth in the rail services market.

John Smith, the company MD, said: “We’ve been working closely with [Serco] in putting together a strategy that would work best for them on these given routes, and have invested in the appropriate rolling stock and training to make this strategy effective. We hope to build on this relationship over the next 15 years and ensure that passengers receive the optimum service.”

Serco’s managing director for the Caledonian Sleeper, Peter Strachan, said: “GB Railfreight are one of our key partners on the Caledonian Sleeper franchise. Together, we have worked closely to develop a traction strategy for the lifetime of the franchise which takes the service from 1 April through to the introduction of the new trains in 2018 and beyond.  GB Railfreight have extensive experience in the rail services market and we looking forward to working together.”

Earlier this week RTM reported that Spanish train manufacturer CAF signed a €200m agreement to supply a new fleet of 75 coaches for Caledonian Sleeper trains.

Alstom has also been awarded a 15-year service contract worth €125m by Serco to maintain the current coaches and the new fleet once it is delivered.

(Image source: Ed Webster)

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

Rail industry Focus

View all News

Comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

Most Read

'the sleepers' blog

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to in... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >