GBRf and Cemex launch new branded Class 66 locomotive

The Cemex Express
Credit: GBRf

GB Railfreight (GBRf) and Global building materials supplier CEMEX have presented the new CEMEX-liveried locomotive at a dedicated naming ceremony held at Dove Holes Quarry, Buxton.

The new locomotive is named The Cemex Express.

The name was unveiled at the event by record producer and rail enthusiast Pete Waterman.

Standing impressive in the white, blue and red colours of the CEMEX brand.

The vehicle also recognises the partnership between GBRf and CEMEX, which has been in place for a year.

The Cemex Express, a Class 66 Locomotive is to travel typically between Dove Holes quarry.

It will carry premium aggregate for readymix and asphalt plants, and external customers throughout the UK.

It will pull 22 to 26 hopper wagons that will discharge their loads from underneath directly onto the plant’s conveyors.

A single trainload has the capacity to deliver up to 2,000 tons of material in one trip and will make over 200 trips for CEMEX each year. Which is the equivalent of over 20,000 truckloads.

What did the officials say?

John Smith, Managing Director of GBRf, said:

“We are delighted to unveil this fantastic Class 66 locomotive, painted in the CEMEX livery and representing our two organisations’ ongoing partnership. This contract is demonstrative of the role rail freight has to play in helping the UK to cut carbon emissions and to improve air quality.

On average, one gallon of fuel will move one tonne of goods 246 miles on the rail network, while the same amount will only get you 88 miles by road. Rail freight’s CO2 emissions are 76 per cent lower than road’s, per tonne carried. An average freight train removes 60 HGV journeys from the roads and the largest up to 160. When this is combined with rail’s advantageous performance in terms of nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions, rail freight demonstrates a clear contribution to the challenge of meeting the UK’s carbon-cutting targets.”

David Hart, CEMEX’s Supply Chain Director for UK & France, commented:

“The transport of our product by rail is of ever-increasing importance to CEMEX as we look to make our operations as sustainable as possible. Rail is a far more environmentally friendly method of transport than trucks on the road, as a train burns significantly less fuel per ton-mile than road vehicles, saving around 50% in CO2 emissions.

CEMEX UK currently transports 2.6 million tonnes of aggregate by rail each year which equates to approximately 100,000 trucks off the road; enough to build 40,000 houses; and we want to continue to build on this. We are very proud of our partnership with GBRf and hope that together we will be able to transport more and more by rail safely whilst reducing the number of truck movements.”

Lex Russell, Managing Director for UK Materials North at CEMEX, added:

“Dove Holes is one of CEMEX’s most important quarries and generates several million tonnes of limestone aggregates every year, as well as asphalt, readymix, concrete products and dry silo mortar.  By rail we then supply many locations across the UK including key cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham and London. It was therefore the perfect location to unveil the new Cemex Express locomotive and take the opportunity to thank those in our team and at GBRf for their hard work and dedication to our rail partnership.”

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Emma Holden avatar
I have been around trains at heritage railways all my life. In particular, the narrow gauge trains in Wales, and spent many Duncan days at the Talyllyn Railway when I was younger. I have been a volunteer author for RailAdvent since 2019
  • Which is why freight trains will take lorries carrying containers off the roads and to transport freight by rail to minimise the impact of global warming.