Freightliner triumphs at National Rail Awards 2021

Freightliner team shares the award at the National Rail Awards 2021.

Freightliner, a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W), was triumphant at this year’s National Rail Awards, winning Freight and Logistics Achievement of the Year at last Thursday’s award ceremony in London.

Following Freightliner’s recent success at the Rail Freight Group (RFG) Awards, the company was once again recognised for its train-lengthening initiatives.

A sharp decline in passenger numbers and a reduction in passenger trains on the UK rail network amid the pandemic have opened more opportunities in the timetable for freight services. Freightliner worked with Network Rail and select customers to trial new types of services, challenge network capability limitations and improve the efficiency and productivity of existing services.

This included the lengthening of three daily container trains between Southampton and Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham to operate at 775 metres and has also enabled the trial of ‘Jumbo’ aggregates services between the Peak District in Derbyshire and London for customer Tarmac.

Running longer and heavier trains unlocks significant efficiency and productivity gains.  Using the same one locomotive and driver to deliver increased tonnages unlocks substantial efficiency improvements and makes rail freight more competitive with road.

Moreover, there are significant environmental gains from running longer and heavier services.  The three daily roundtrip 775-metre intermodal trains that Freightliner runs from the Port of Southampton collectively save over four million road miles, which can eliminate over 9,500 tonnes of carbon emissions (CO2e) per year.  The additional volume on the jumbo train that Freightliner trialled in mid-March 2021 represents the equivalent of over 110 HGV journeys and a saving of roughly 89 tonnes of carbon emissions compared to road for that one train alone.

“I am delighted with Freightliner’s win at this year’s National Rail Awards during what has been one of the toughest periods in the UK rail industry’s history, said Freightliner’s Managing Director of UK Rail Tim Shakerley.”

Rail freight has shown incredible resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, continuing to transport essential supplies, materials and goods around the country. So, to be recognised in this category is especially pleasing.

As we emerge from the pandemic, Freightliner is keen to continue the positive work to enable these efficient and productive services to remain in the timetable and to look for further opportunities to lengthen services or speed-up average running times.  As well as the productivity gains, there are compelling environmental reasons to support this improved efficiency, with a significant reduction in carbon emissions and a reduction in NOX and other particulates.