The UK’s GB Railfreight (GBRf) is procuring new locomotives from Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) and Europorte, a subsidiary of Groupe Eurotunnel, to support growth and boost its existing fleet.

As part of the contracts placed with both companies, GB Railfreight will purchase additional 13 Class 66 diesel locomotives from EMD, and Europorte will deliver 16 Class 92 electric locomotives.

The new procurement is expected to double GB Railfreight’s turnover, which is currently more than £100m annually, in the next three years.

The new additional Class 66 diesel locomotives along with the eight acquired in September 2013 will bring the total number of GB Railfreight’s current Class 66 fleet to 71.

"The purchase of Class 92s from Europorte will help grow international business."

GBRf managing director John Smith said: "GB Railfreight has taken a giant leap forward in its locomotive procurement in a bid to improve the quality of our services, meet current and future demand and double turnover over the next few years.

"We have an excellent working relationship with Electro-Motive Diesel and, ahead of the change in EU emission legislation, the purchase of more locos allows us to grow our fleet of Class 66s in order to service the growing demand from our customers."

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By GlobalData

EMD will deliver the additional Class 66 diesel locomotives in late 2014.

Europorte’s Class 92 electric locomotives, which are the first to be acquired by GBRf, are designed for traction through the Channel Tunnel and can be used on different routes.

Smith said: "The purchase of Class 92s from Europorte will help grow international business and is also an important step towards preparing the company for the electrification of sections of the UK’s rail freight system."

Image: A FirstGBRf liveried Class 66. Photo: courtesy of ACBest.