Britain’s third largest Rail Freight haulier has beaten off competition to operate the main line rail requirements of a steel plant, being re-opened on December 8.
Teesside Steel Works, which is divided into two sections, Lackenby and Warrenby, has recently been purchased by Sahaviriya Steel Industries (Thailand), from Tata, for a reputed £320 Million. The blast furnace and plant had been closed in 2009, with the loss of over 1500 jobs.
The furnace is said to be the largest in Europe, will produce finished steel product to be exported to Thailand. The workforce, however, will be almost entirely local, and is expected to contribute greatly to the local economy. Rail will also benefit moving raw materials and finished products to and from the Works.
As part of this, SSI needed an approved rail freight operator to run the internal railway system, which has approximately 70 kilometres of track. Also, GBRf will be responsible for constructing new loading bays, and maintaining the track and equipment, which is assumed to include rolling stock.
It is also anticipated, considering the confirmed construction of an unloading bay, that scrap metal will arrive at the site by rail, for use in the process.
GBRf have already operated a Class 66 locomotive into, through, and away from the site in Redcar as a means of trialling the route.
It is noted that “eight internal locomotives” are required to be purchased by GBRf, which may be former Corus / Tata industrial shunters, or the purpose purchase of additional locomotives for use within the site. GB Railfreight will also recruit around 35 staff for the site.