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GRS Rail Services extends aggregates contract with freight operator GBRf

12 February 2021

GRS Rail Services, a joint venture between GRS and the UK's leading sustainable construction materials firm Tarmac, has signed a five-year deal with freight operator GB Railfreight (GBRf) in an extension to their existing contract.

The new arrangement builds on a partnership between the two businesses that began in 2016, primarily supplying rail haulage services between the UK’s largest granite quarry, Mountsorrel Quarry in Leicestershire, operated by Tarmac, and a major aggregates supply depot at Wellingborough, Northamptonshire operated by GRS.

The Wellingborough depot was developed by GRS with Network Rail, GBRf and Tarmac to support major infrastructure projects in the Midlands such as the reconstruction of the A14 in Cambridgeshire, one of the country’s biggest highways schemes in recent years.

Over the course of the last five years, the contract has evolved to serve new supply points, such as Tarmac’s Swinden Quarry, North Yorkshire, and Tunstead Quarry, Derbyshire, and feed additional railheads in Luton and Northampton.

GRS Rail Services and GBRf have already moved over 1.8 million tonnes of aggregates across the UK to support the construction industry and prevented almost 100,000 lorry loads from being transported by road.

The extended partnership will allow for the operation of services from the Peak District to terminals at Wellingborough, Luton, Northampton, Peterborough, and elsewhere, as well as the improvements at Wellingborough aggregates depot.

Jon Fisher, Chief Executive at GRS said: “Our partnership with GB Railfreight has gone from strength to strength, allowing us to meet the construction industry’s demand for aggregates with the lowest possible carbon footprint and in the most efficient way possible.

“Rail freight produces a fraction of the carbon and particulate emissions of road haulage, and although lorries are still needed for local distribution, thanks to GB Railfreight we can cover most of the journey from source quarries to construction sites by rail. We’re looking forward to developing our partnership over the years ahead.”

John Smith, Managing Director at GB Railfreight, said: “I am absolutely delighted to be unveiling this contract extension with GRS Rail Services. We have worked with GRS for a number of years and our partnership has been fruitful from the very start.

“Given the uncertain economic picture we are facing at this time, it is more important than ever to continue with the work we have done so successfully throughout 2020 and today’s contract extension will ensure we keep the economy moving in the right direction as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Founded in 1999 and headquartered in London GB Railfreight (GBRf) is the third largest rail freight operator in the United Kingdom, with a turnover exceeding £200 million. GB Railfreight is one of the fastest growing companies in the railway sector and transports goods for a wide range of customers.