EWS Construction is the dedicated rail operator for the construction and waste markets and is part of English Welsh & Scottish Railway Ltd which has now been re-nation alised - this time by Deutsche Bahn the German state owned Railways.
They have just ordered 34 new aggregate hopper wagons adding 600,000 tonnes of additional haulage capacity per annum - In the last five years the aggregate rail market has grown by one billion freight tonne kilometres.
This requirement is to help meet the demands of contracts recently placed with SWS by CEMEX UK (The 100 year old US cement manufacturer who took over Ready Mixed Concrete/Rugby Cement in 2005)
The wagons have been built in Poland by the huge US group Greenbrier's European plant at WagonySwidnica S.A., in Swidnica Poland. They will be fitted with "track friendly suspension systems" supplied by Axiom Rail ( a subsidiary of EWS formed from their takeover of Probotec Ltd of S. Wales in 2005) , for delivery in spring 2008.
GB Railfreight was formed in 1999 and is part of FirstGroup plc, their current (and fast growing) buk frieght includes the movement of desulphogypsum (DSG) for British Gypsum from West Burton power station in Nottinghamshire to Kirkby Thore in Cumbria, and natural Gypsum from East Leake, Leicestershire and Robertsbridge in East Sussex.
(Desulphogypsum (DSG) is a by-product of Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) plants, installed at some coal fired power stations in order to reduce sulphur emissions, and is now used to substitute natural gypsum. Although DSG cannot replace the high quality mineral in terms of range of end-uses, it has proved suitable for plasterboard manufacture accounting for about half of total demand.)
GBFr will be operating at 100% capacity for coal hauling by mid 2008 and so have ordered 72 new high capacity (74.5 tonnes) coal hopper wagons and used for hauling (by the new Class 66 trains made in Canada by General Motors) from Welbeck and Thoresby collieries to West Burton and Cottam Power Stations.
GBRf also won 2 coal contracts for handling imported coal in less than a year.
1. Drax Power Limited, for the movement of imported coal from the Port of Tyne to Drax power station near Selby North Yorkshire started April 2007.
2. EDF Energy (French National Energy Company) for movement of coal from the Port of Hull to Cottam and West Burton power stations in Nottinghamshire to started July 2007.
The order has been placed with IRS (Roumanian rail company based in Luxembourg) and be built by the recently acquired Astra Vagoane company in Arad, Roumania which started making trains in 1891 (and where the first electric train system in eastern Europe was developed in 1913) and deliveries commenced in February 2007 These trucks with low track force bogeys can operate anywhere in the UK.
UK coal production in Q1 2007 fell 28% to 4..0 Mn. tonnes (opencast by 42%) coal imports were 12.2 Mn tonnes of which 84%, was steam coal for the power station market.
So the UK mines less coal, imports more (75% of demand) to be used in power stations increasingly foreign owned (often nationalised utilities) to be hauled by Canadian trains, using Polish and Romanian waggons by the German State Railways (excepting the new GBRf company).
This is what the UK Gubment presumably calls their energy security policy.
Photograph of a GB Railfreight GBRf Class 66 66712 at Pelaw with 6H90 Port of Tyne - Drax power station imported coal train.Photo Ian Britton.