In November 2019, Freightliner, a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W), commenced a long-term bulk haulage contract with Mendip Rail Ltd, a joint venture between two of the UK’s largest aggregate/ cement producers, Hanson Aggregates and Aggregate Industries (AI).
Since then, Freightliner has continued to haul aggregate from quarries owned by Hanson and AI in the Mendips, Northern Somerset to terminals in London and the Southeast of England for use in various construction projects including housing and road improvements.
Despite the current COVID-19 pandemic challenges, which have seen a significant reduction in intermodal and bulk rail freight volumes across the UK, Freightliner has continued to haul aggregate for Mendip Rail to ensure vital construction projects can continue.
“I am delighted with how well the contract with Freightliner is progressing and, in particular, the professionalism, flexibility and resilience demonstrated by their bulk haulage team in keeping vital construction materials moving during these challenging times,” said Mendip Rail’s Director, Jason Black.
As part of the contract, Freightliner purchased eight Class 59 locomotives from Mendip Rail, the first of which was recently repainted in the G&W livery.
Subsequently, an additional six Class 59 locomotives were purchased from DB Cargo. Further repaints of the Class 59 fleet have been postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
“Rail freight is key to meeting the decarbonisation targets set by government while also relieving congestion on busy roads,” said Freightliner Bulk Commercial Director, David Israel. “Rail freight will also have a key role to play in supporting the recovery of the wider UK economy as we emerge from lockdown.
“The Freightliner/Mendip partnership is ensuring that vital supplies of aggregate continue to be made available for construction works in London and the South East during these unprecedented and difficult times.”