GB Railfreight Peterborough Maintenance Hub

UK: Leeds-based design-and-build contractor Cairn Cross Engineering will begin work next month to construct a £4·7m wagon maintenance depot for GB Railfreight next to the East Coast Main Line in Peterborough.

The development follows the construction of GBRf’s £3m headquarters in the city last year. GBRf said the ‘state-of-the-art’ wagon maintenance hub would be a major milestone in its ambitions to improve safety and reliability across its fleet.

Smart sensor technology will be used to analyse wheel wear and degrading bearings quickly and accurately, and to identify faults in braking system integrity much earlier.

The ability to carry out ‘pit-stop style’ assessments of wagons on the ECML rather than lengthy field maintenance will enable vehicles to be returned to service more quickly.

GBRf Asset Director David Golding said the derailment of 25 laden tank wagons at Llangennech in August 2020, which was partly blamed on inadequate maintenance practices, had been ‘a huge wake-up call for everyone across rail freight’. He said the ‘state-of-the-art maintenance hub’ in Peterborough ‘demonstrates our commitment to ensure that this type of incident doesn’t happen on our fleet.’