Running Locos Mid-train for Mendip Services

The introduction of jumbo services to improve efficiency on a congested network.

One of the most widely recognised features of Freightliner’s Mendip Rail operations is the use of ‘jumbo trains’. These services, comprise of multiple traffic portions, often with two locomotives hauling the train. They maximise efficiency by sending traffic from the Mendip quarries at Merehead and Whatley to the South East as a single train of up to 44 wagons equivalent to 3.3kt and over 100 lorry loads of aggregate. They then split up into smaller trains before heading to their final destinations.


Following a trial period, Freightliner has now received permission to run these jumbo trains with locomotives mid-train rather than the typical ‘double heading’. The advantage of this method of operation lies in the reduction in shunting required to form these jumbo services which in turn speeds up despatch of trains and improving efficiency on a congested network. Since authorisation was granted for running locos mid-train on Mendip services, this has been rolled out across the country and can be found on other Freightliner jumbo trains allowing for greater efficiency across the network.