Statement from GB Railfreight Managing Director John Smith:
“GB Railfreight is playing our part in supporting the UK’s COVID-19 response by helping to keep essential services running across the country.
“We are focused on helping our staff protect their health by following Government advice helping people work at home whenever possible and supporting our key workers who are operating our rail freight services to protect themselves while at work.
“Our services are playing a vital role in ensuring the continuation of supplies. We are running services from ports such as London Gateway, Southampton, Felixstowe and Teesport to distribution centres across the country. These flows are ensuring that warehouses remain stocked, and supermarkets and other essential retailers remain supplied.
“GB Railfreight’s services are also ensuring that the UK can keep the lights on. We are delivering vital supplies of biomass which are transported across the country by rail to Drax Power Station in Yorkshire, which supplies six percent of the UK’s electricity needs.
“Our teams are committed to continuing to help the UK get through this period by ensuring that vital supplies are delivered. Rail freight has the advantage in being able to efficiently move very large volumes of goods in a safe and reliable way. With each train able to move between 40 to 70 equivalent lorry loads of goods, rail freight has an important role to play to ensure that supplies can be maintained if the number of available staff across the road freight sector is hit due to illness or the need to isolate.
“I would like to play tribute to the GBRf team and those working across the rail freight sector for the role that they are playing and will continue to play as the UK responds to the pandemic. We all have to work together to ensure we keep the goods we most need moving across the entire country.”