GB Railfreight (GBRf) has signed a five-year deal with GRS Rail Services, a joint venture between GRS and UK-based sustainable construction materials firm Tarmac, resulting in an extension of its existing contract.

The extended partnership will allow for the operation of services from the Peak District to terminals at Wellingborough, Northampton, Luton and Peterborough, along with the redevelopment of Wellingborough Aggregates Depot.

The corporations became partners in 2016 to provide rail haulage services between the Tarmac-operated Mountsorrel Quarry in Leicestershire and a major aggregates supply depot at Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, which is operated by GRS.

The Wellingborough depot was developed by GB Railfreight, Tarmac, Network Rail, and GRS to support major infrastructure projects such as the redevelopment of the A14 in Cambridgeshire.

In the past five years, the contract has included services at new supply points such as Swinden Quarry in North Yorkshire and Tunstead Quarry in Derbyshire, as well as feed new railheads in Luton and Northampton.

They have also jointly transported more than 1.8Mt of aggregates across the country to support the construction industry and almost 100,000 lorry loads were taken off the road.

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By GlobalData

GB Railfreight managing director John Smith 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.”

GRS chief executive Jon Fisher 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 aggregates source quarries to construction site by rail. We’re looking forward to developing our partnership over the years ahead.”