Aggregate Industries and Hanson, two of the UK’s largest producers of aggregates, awarded a long-term, bulk rail-haulage contract to Freightliner through their Mendip Rail joint venture in December.
Beginning in November this year, Freightliner will haul an expected eight million tonnes of aggregate per year from the two companies’ quarries to terminals in London and the southeast of England, to support various housing and road improvement projects.
“By adding one of the largest bulk haulage contracts in the UK, we are also adding to the foundation of our long-term bulk business as we have successfully replaced traffic losses caused by the collapse of the UK coal industry in 2015,” said Freightliner chief executive Gary Long at the time of the announcement.
As part of the agreement, Freightliner will also acquire Mendip Rail’s fleet of eight EMD Class 59 locomotives, adding to its 250-strong fleet.
The Mendip Rail contract is one of a number of recent major wins for Freightliner, and with a growing demand from the government to move more goods by rail, the company is looking to further invest in the business to support future growth.
While significant sums of money were injected into establishing even higher safety standards following its takeover by American freight company Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W) in 2015, technology is the focus of a new “multi-million pound” investment.
Lynn Crump, head of corporate communications, said: “Our parent company is investing heavily in new technology which will drive further improvement in service performance and efficiency from a customer perspective and also facilitate future growth. We are introducing new HR and payroll, global asset management, and planning and rostering systems, all resulting in a major transformation in technology.”
Outstanding customer service
With its commitment to delivering high standards of customer service, it’s fitting that Freightliner has returned to sponsor the Outstanding Customer Service Award at the RailStaff Awards.
“After sponsoring it for the first time last year we were really keen to get involved again. We think it’s a great opportunity for staff at all levels to get together to be recognised and celebrated. I think it’s the only awards ceremony that does that.
“We submit entries in several business awards but I think this is the one that means more to the people who work in the rail industry.”
Last year the category was won by bylaw enforcement officer Paul Arnill. Paul, who worked for Land Sheriffs, dealt with anti-social behaviour, fare evaders and enforced railway bylaws but was praised by passengers in East Anglia for small gestures that have made a big difference to their day.
One person said the 50-year-old, who was based at Cambridge station, “really went the extra mile” when they left a rucksack onboard a train, describing him as a credit to his employer. While another heaped praise on Paul for “a very kind deed” when he came to the aid of a woman who was left stranded one night when her phone ran out of battery.
Last year, Lynn and Glynis Appelbe, HR director for G&W’s UK/Europe Region companies helped to judge the category and Lynn said they will be on the lookout for similarly strong candidates for 2019.
“Judging it and reading all those amazing stories and the things people are doing for customers is fantastic,” she added.
“Everyone wants to provide a good service but I think it’s going that one step further, it’s really going above and beyond and going out of your way that really makes a difference.”
To nominate a colleague in one of 20 categories, or to find out more about the awards, head to www.railstaffawards.com.