Building on their 15-year relationship, the transaction marks a renewed commitment from the companies to develop sustainable freight transport to meet the expected significant growth in the sector. The partnership supports the government’s wider transport decarbonisation plans by encouraging a modal shift from road to rail in the transportation of goods.
Rail freight is a major contributor to the UK economy, with more than £30bn of goods transported around Britain each year.
Porterbrook commissioned IPEX to research the UK market, and this showed that intermodal rail freight is forecast to grow by over 10% between 2022 and 2034. During the same period, construction sector traffic is expected to increase by up to 35%.
Emissions from rail freight are estimated to be significantly lower than any other alternative. Each tonne of freight transported by rail produces 76% less carbon than road haulage, while each freight train removes up to 76 fossil fuel-intensive lorries from Britain’s roads, equivalent to 7.6 million fewer HGVs and 1.66 billion fewer lorry kilometres per year.
David Golding, Asset Director at GB Railfreight, said “By partnering with Porterbrook, the new rolling stock marks our commitment to supporting sustainability in the construction sector. As we look towards the future, this investment will help meet growing demand for rail freight services, whilst playing a key role in the delivery of Government’s net-zero targets.”
Mark Wyborn, Head of Freight at Porterbrook, said “Today’s announcement strengthens Porterbrook’s long-term commitment to investing in rail freight and the tangible benefits this will bring not only to the economy, but to the UK’s green recovery.”
“We are thrilled that GB Railfreight has chosen to extend its partnership with Porterbrook and support us in our ambitions to bring green, innovative, and affordable rolling stock options to the UK supply chain.”