GB Railfreight working with Drax Power Station during COVID-19 crisis

Posted: 14 April 2020 | | No comments yet

GBRf is working closely with Drax Power Station to ensure the continued transportation of vital supplies in order to sustain the provision of electricity to the UK amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

GB Railfreight to work with Drax to maintain operations during COVID-19

Credit: GB Railfreight

GB Railfreight (GBRf) has announced that it is continuing to work closely with Drax Power Station – a large biomass and coal-fired power station in North Yorkshire, England – to maintain the supply of the sustainable biomass needed for the UK’s largest power station to generate electricity needed by millions of homes and business during the COVID-19 crisis.

Severe storms and flooding in the area near Drax in February 2020 resulted in damage to the rail tracks. GBRf has been working closely with Drax to reschedule rail deliveries and maximise capacity on the rail link while the repairs are completed – ensuring the maintained transportation of the vital supplies of biomass needed for Drax to generate enough renewable electricity for up to four million households.

Managing Director of GB Railfreight, John Smith, said: “GB Railfreight is playing its part in supporting the UK’s COVID-19 response by helping to keep essential services running across the country. Our partnership with Drax Power Station in Yorkshire is proof of this. We are delivering vital supplies of sustainable biomass which are transported across the country by rail to Drax, which supplies five per cent of the UK’s electricity needs. GB Railfreight stops at nothing to get vital supplies from one part of the country to the other – as we saw during the recent floods near Drax. We will be redoubling our efforts to ensure we keep the country going during these trying times.”

The rail planners who helped to rework the timetable to accommodate the new train timings combined forces with train drivers, signal controllers, Network Rail train marshals and Drax logistics specialists to speedily restore flows of sustainable biomass to the power station.

Will Gardiner, Drax CEO, said: “The teams who are working tirelessly across the UK rail freight system and also within our power stations to keep the lights on and keep the country going during this COVID-19 crisis are doing a tremendous job. As teams work around the clock to keep generating the power the country needs, their health, safety and wellbeing are vital. Across all our sites we have implemented strategies to reduce the chances of spreading the virus and have operational plans in place to ensure continued delivery of power into the grid. GBRf’s rail deliveries are an important part of our global supply chain for sustainable biomass that supports thousands of jobs and has delivered economic growth across the north of England and in the U.S. south.”

Group Director at Network Services for Network Rail, Nick King, said: “The railway plays a crucial part in keeping Britain running, particularly in these challenging times, and strong teamwork across the rail industry is absolutely key in keeping freight services moving. Recent flooding in this area brought additional challenges to keeping services moving, however the hard work and dedication of our people has meant that vital supplies of sustainable biomass have continued to be transported.”