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£4.7m rail depot boost for Peterborough gets under way

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A £4.7m rail freight maintenance depot is being built in Peterborough alongside the East Coast Mainline.

The depot has been commissioned by GB Railfreight (GBRf), operator of Rail Freight Services across the UK.

The company says the new Peterborough maintenance hub will support their growth plans as it works up to running 75 intermodal services a day by 2025.

The contract to build it has gone to Cairn Cross Engineering.

It will create around 60 jobs in the local area during construction and a further 20 permanent jobs when the project completes next summer.

GBRf says it continues their “sustained investment in Peterborough and Eastern England” following construction of its new £3 million Peterborough HQ last year.

The depot’s construction formally began this morning at 9am with a ground-breaking event taking place at the GBRf House, Peterborough.

Councillor Wayne Fitzgerald (Leader of Peterborough City Council) was in attendance, in addition to John Smith (Chief Executive Officer, GB Railfreight) and Ian Bald (Director, Cairn Cross Engineering).

GBRf says the state-of-art maintenance hub will play a vital role in their ambitions to improve safety and reliability across its wagon fleet.

Smart sensor technology will be used to quickly analyse wagon conditions and identify faults much earlier quickly and accurately.

Councillor Wayne Fitzgerald, Leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “This is a welcome investment to Peterborough and one which will create many new jobs and improve the flow of goods on the city’s rail-line.

“It also proves – once again – that Peterborough is the ideal place for investment.”

David Golding, Asset Director, GB Railfreight, said: “The Peterborough maintenance hub is a major investment into the sector and will form an integral part of our infrastructure long into the future.

“Our ability to service wagons quickly will also allow us to deliver an even more reliable service to our customers, and support GB Railfreight’s growth aspirations.”

About GB Railfreight

  • Founded in 1999 and headquartered in London, United Kingdom, GB Railfreight (GBRf) is one of the fastest growing companies in the rail industry,

About the maintenance hub

  • The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) recently highlighted inadequate maintenance practices as partly to blame for the Llangennech derailment in August 2020.
  • The investigation identified a defect in the braking system as the cause for 25 laden tank wagons to derail, which resulted in a major fire and 446,000 litres of fuel to spill.
  • To avoid incidents like Llangennech happening again, the new GB Railfreight maintenance hub in Peterborough will use smart sensor technology to analyse wheel wear and degrading wheel-bearing conditions quickly and accurately.
  • It will also be able to identify faults in the braking system integrity much earlier.
  • From summer 2023, the company will be able to carry out ‘pitstop style’ assessments to wagons on the East Coast Mainline rather than lengthy field maintenance.
  • Wagons will be returned to service far quicker using these assessments and it is anticipated that their time in traffic between repairs will be significantly reduced.
  • Currently, GB Railfreight runs in excess of 50 intermodal services per day serving all the major seaports across the UK.
  • The new Peterborough maintenance hub will support GB Railfreight’s growth plans as it works up to running 75 intermodal services a day by 2025.






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