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DB Cargo UK to run jumbo trains for Mendip Rail

Rail freight

Rail freight operator renews long-standing partnership with aggregates distribution specialist 

DB Cargo UK have agreed a new five-year contract with established customer Mendip Rail to deliver more than 100 trains of aggregates per week. A key feature of the service is the use of ‘jumbo trains’ – the heaviest operating in the UK. Each train is 44 wagons long and can carry more 3,300 tonnes of aggregates.

A single Class 59 locomotive is used to haul each jumbo train from quarries in Somerset to West London, where the jumbo train is split into two or three shorter trains for delivery to depots in London and the South East. This delivery method aims to maximize the use of rail paths on the busy rail network in West London, whilst improving the efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of transportation.

DB Cargo UK, whose relationship with Mendip Rail can be traced back to the 1970s, currently serve 33 depots for Mendip Rail, loading materials at seven points: Aggregate Industries’ Torr Quarry (Somerset); Hanson Aggregates’ Whatley Quarry (Somerset); Aggregate Industries’ Isle of Grain Wharf (Kent); Hanson Aggregates’ Machen Quarry (South Wales); Midland Quarry Products’ Cliffe Hill Quarry (Leicestershire); Hanson Aggregates’ Dagenham Wharf (East London); and Avonmouth Docks (Bristol).

Underlining their commitment to customer service, DB Cargo UK have introduced a dedicated management team to ensure the new contract runs smoothly. Daily joint Performance Management Centres are held at Mendip Rail’s offices in Merehead, Somerset, to focus on any issues that may impact on customer service over the coming days. Both parties say this has already led to improved performance and greater efficiency.


Mick Tinsley, head of building, infrastructure and construction at DB Cargo UK, said: ‘I’m very pleased to see our long-term relationship with Mendip Rail being extended further. Our proven ability to reliably deliver the high-volume requirement of the contract is a major factor in Mendip Rail choosing to continue working with DB Cargo UK. Over the coming years, we are jointly committed to meeting the increasing demands of the busy South East construction market.’


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