GB Railfreight has announced that Class 66 No. 66796 has been officially named as part of the new HS2 logistics hub.
‘The Green Progressor’ is the name chosen by Jermain Allen from Leeds. Jermaine also got to reveal the nameplate for GB Railfreight’s 66796 as part of the official opening of HS2’s brand new 30 acre Logistics Hub which is close to Willesden Junction in London.
The Class 66 locomotive will be used to move HS2 construction materials, spoil and aggregates to depots throughout Phase One of the new railway line, which goes from the West Midlands to London and as a result will provide a reduction in carbon emissions.
The locomotive is one of five Class 66’s which GB Railfreight has imported from Germany and will give extra capacity as the country’s rail freight sector expands.
Not only did the loco get a great name but also a brand new livery which is aimed at promoting the environmental advantages of delivering the HS2 materials by rail rather than road, as its new name suggests. The locomotive will make its first outing by the end of 2021 following refurbishment work, which will provide it with the latest communications systems.
Each locomotive that HS2 uses to move aggregates and construction materials takes around 76 lorries off the roads and motorways in the UK. With approximately 100 freight trains operating on the rail network each week moving HS2 materials means that not only do our roads become safer but also HS2’s pledge to bring down the amount of carbon impact from its construction to a minimum of 50% is well underway as for each tonne of freight transported by rail brings down CO2 emissions by a huge 76% when compared to road movements.
Jermaine is a self-confessed rail enthusiast and has kept up to date on the HS2’s development and construction since he was just 5 years old. Jermaine’s parents have visited many of the construction sites throughout the 140-mile route that HS2 will take from the West Midlands to London Euston.
The official opening event meant that the 15-year-olds dream came true as he was invited to the new Logistic Hub which was built and will be run by HS2’s construction partner, Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture (SCS JV).
Jermaine also got a very special surprise on the day, as GB Railfreight and SCS JV had arranged for him to unveil another nameplate for a Class 08 shunting locomotive named after him.
The Class 66’s new livery and also the opportunity to offer Jermaine an invite to name the Class 66 was organised by HS2’s Conventional Rail Interface Manager, Andrew Graham and GB Railfreight’s CEO, John Smith. Both companies were very proud to showcase the vital role that moving materials by rail freight plays in bringing down carbon emissions, whilst giving Jermaine the opportunity of a lifetime.
Throughout the next 10 years, almost 15,000 freight trains will move 10 million tonnes of aggregate for HS2 construction sites, which marks a huge investment for Britains rail freight sector.
Speaking about his experience, Jermaine said: “It’s great to have this fantastic once in a lifetime opportunity. I feel very privileged to name this locomotive and to be playing a part in the delivery of Europe’s biggest infrastructure project.”
Andrew Graham, Conventional Rail Interface Manager at HS2 Ltd said: “Jermaine’s passion, enthusiasm and knowledge is simply outstanding and we are delighted to have created this opportunity for him.”
Class 08 shunter ‘Jermaine’ will occupy a permanent base at HS2’s new logistics hub in Willesden where it will move wagons into position ready to transport and receive materials.
John Smith, CEO of GB Railfreight said: “It’s wonderful to provide a young rail enthusiast like Jermaine the opportunity to name one of our Class 66 locomotives. By choosing the name, ‘The Green Progressor’, he has truly captured the role rail freight can play in delivering a more sustainable logistics solution for the construction of HS2.
”Working with SCS JV, we were also honoured to celebrate Jermaine’s special connection to our railways by naming a Class 08 shunter after him.”
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