Freightliner hauls record aggregate tonnage for Mendip Rail

Class 59 Freightliner loco.

The month of March 2021 proved to be a key milestone for Freightliner, a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W), and Mendip Rail, when Freightliner hauled the single largest volume of aggregate in Mendip Rail’s history at 796kt, running an average 120 trains per week and surpassing the previous 761kt record set by Freightliner in March 2020.

Since the commencement of Freightliner’s contract with Mendip Rail Ltd., a joint venture between two of the UK’s largest aggregate/ cement producers Hanson Aggregates and Aggregate Industries, in November 2019, and despite the challenges of COVID-19, Freightliner has continued to haul significant volumes of aggregate from quarries in the Mendips, Northern Somerset to terminals in London and the Southeast of England for use in various construction projects including HS2, housing and road improvements.

With the focus on sustainability, the Freightliner/Mendip partnership has not only trialled the longest and heaviest (4,000 tonne) train on the UK network with a single locomotive using 100% sustainable fuel, but also has recently achieved the internationally recognised ISO14001 Environmental Management Systems standard at Freightliner’s Vehicle Maintenance Facility in Merehead.

“Rail freight already plays a leading role in the low-carbon logistics sector, with each freight train producing 76% fewer carbon emissions per tonne moved compared to road,” said Chief Executive Officer for G&W UK/Europe Region companies Eddie Aston.

“Moving increased volumes by rail will go a long way towards meeting government decarbonisation targets, and the added ISO14001 accreditation means that we will continually challenge ourselves to ensure we maintain the ISO Environmental Management Systems standards, reducing our impact on the environment even further.”

Jason Black, Director Mendip Rail Limited said: “The achievement of another monthly record is a reflection on the strong demand in the construction sector and the increasing importance rail freight plays in supplying a broad range of construction projects.  Records are not set by themselves and Mendip Rail would like to thank Freightliner and our other supply chain partners in making it happen.

“At Mendip Rail, we were delighted to have been asked to take part in the 100% sustainable fuel trial.  Not only did the trial record significant carbon reductions but also particulate emission reductions, which is a particularly important air quality measure in urban areas”