Posted 18th February 2015 | 1 Comment

GB Railfreight beats DB Schenker for sleeper contract

EUROTUNNEL subsidiary GB Railfreight has won the contract to haul Caledonian Sleepers for Serco from 1 April, beating the long-standing operator DB Schenker.

DBS 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.

The new contract runs for 15 years, and will be worth around £100 million to GBRf. The freight operator will provide locomotives and drivers for the overnight services between London Euston and Scottish destinations, which are the central belt cities, Aberdeen, Inverness and and Fort William.

The locomotives will be refurbished Class 92s for the electrified routes between London, Edinburgh and Glasgow. North of Edinburgh, the company is planning to use six class 73s from October 2015, which are currently undergoing work at Wabtec Loughborough. Until then, Class 47s will be hired from the Harry Needle Railroad Company.
GBRf said the win was a 'significant development'. Managing director John Smith added: “GB Railfreight are delighted to announce that we will be supporting Serco with train drivers and traction on their Caledonian Sleeper franchise. We’ve been working closely with the company 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, “GBRf 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. GBRf have extensive experience in the rail services market and we looking forward to working together.”

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  • jak jaye, leamington spa

    Good news for GBRF about time another company got the chance
    Class 92s are beasts and as for re-engined 73s on the Highland Main Line...lets wait and see especially if the 47s perform well