DB Cargo UK has agreed a new five-year contract with established customer Mendip Rail to deliver more than 100 trains of aggregates per week.
A key feature of the service is the use of ‘jumbo trains’. These mammoth trains are the heaviest operating in the UK. Each train is 44 wagons long and can carry over 3,300 tonnes of aggregates.
A single Class 59 locomotive is used to haul each jumbo train from quarries in Somerset to West London. Here the jumbo train is split into two or three shorter trains for delivery to depots in London and the South East. This efficient delivery method reduces the environmental impact of transportation and maximises the use of rail paths on the busy rail network in West London.
DB Cargo UK’s relationship with Mendip Rail can be traced back to the 1970s. The rail freight operator currently serves 33 depots for Mendip Rail, loading materials at seven points:
- Aggregate Industries Torr Quarry (Somerset)
- Hanson Aggregates Whatley Quarry (Somerset)
- Aggregate Industries Isle of Grain Wharf (Kent)
- Hanson Aggregates Machen Quarry (South Wales)
- Midland Quarry Products Cliffe Hill Quarry (Leicestershire)
- Hanson Aggregates Dagenham Wharf (East London)
- Avonmouth Docks (Bristol)
The products carried on the service include aggregates for use in concrete and asphalt and rail ballast for the London Underground network.
To underline its commitment to excellent customer service, DB Cargo UK has introduced a dedicated management team to ensure everything runs smoothly. Daily joint Performance Management Centres are held at the Mendip Rail offices at Merehead in Somerset to focus on any issues that may impact on customer service over the coming days. This has already led to improved performance and greater efficiency for both parties.
Mick Tinsley, Head of Building, Infrastructure and Construction at DB Cargo UK, said:
“I’m very pleased to see our long-term relationship with Mendip Rail being extended further.
“Our proven ability to reliably deliver the high volume requirement of the contract is a major factor in Mendip Rail choosing to continue working with DB Cargo UK.
“Over the coming years we are jointly committed to meeting the increasing demands of the busy South East construction market.”