Three Class 47s are to be hired by GB Railfreight for three specific duties.
And the freight company is investigating hiring more of the Type 4s, with Harry Needle Railroad Company expected to supply the locomotives.
In a contract that started on January 2, GBRf requires a locomotive to haul empty coaching stock moves between England and Scotland.
Secondly, the company needs to re-deploy its Class 66s to a new contract with Sibelco, moving sand trains between Middleton Towers (near King’s Lynn), Doncaster and Monk Bretton (south Yorkshire).
To release sufficient ‘66s’ for this duty (up to nine trains per week are required), GBRf plans to use a ‘47’ on the train between Doncaster and Monk Bretton.
Finally, a third ‘47’ will also work in the Lackenby area, releasing a ‘66’ for use on new contracts.
In the meantime, GBRf continues to look for more work, and has identified possible flows that could use Class 47s. However, no deals have so far been signed.
HNRC owns 47703/714/715/769, and has hired 47812 and 47843 from Riviera Trains. The two Riviera ‘47s’ and one of the HNRC locomotives will be hired to GBRf.
HNRC Managing Director Harry Needle told RAIL that he was on the lookout for more Class 47s, because he believes there is a market for them. He says he has identified possible purchases, but no deals have been done. Needle would not confirm which locomotives he was interested in.
GBRf’s policy is to use modern traction, but managing director John Smith admitted to RAIL that the company must be flexible, because of a shortage of available locomotives.
He also confirmed that any ‘second-hand kit’ would be hired from HNRC, and praised the company for delivering reliable Class 20s for GBRf’s contract with Bombardier (for moving brand new London Underground S-Stock trains between Derby, Old Dalby and London).
- This news feature was originally published in RAIL 739 on 8 January 2014