GB Railfreight wins new work from MoD and Hitachi

GB RAILFREIGHT has replaced DB Cargo as the operator of general cargo traffic from the Ministry of Defence stores depot at Ashchurch in Gloucestershire.

GBRf took over the trains on April 1, a surprise move as the depot was earmarked for closure, with the development of 3,000 new homes on the site. However, it is now expected to remain open for at least 10 more years and rail traffic should increase under GBRf.

After spending 14 minutes in the Down goods loop waiting for a CrossCountry HST to overtake, GBRf/BR green No. 66779 Evening Star restarts its journey to Portbury Coal Terminal with 6V80, the 19.53 loaded potash from Gascoigne Wood on September 22, 2016. GBRf has replaced DB Cargo hauling general cargo traffic to and from the nearby Ministry of Defence depot. JOHN STRETTON

GBRf has also been awarded a contract by Hitachi Rail Europe to test Class 801 EMUs on the East Coast Main Line. The electric IEP sets have started to arrive at Hitachi’s depot in Doncaster for testing, and commissioning will continue until April 2020.

GBRf has been working with Hitachi, providing crews and locomotives to move and test IEP Class 800 bi-mode sets since 2013 and is now starting to test UK-built trains from the Newton Aycliffe plant in County Durham.

Twelve five-car and 30 nine-car Class 801s are on order and will start work for Virgin Trains East Coast in 2018.

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