GBRf boosts sustainability by trialling battery powered locomotive

As GBRf looks towards the future of its assets, the shunting locomotive will enable low noise and zero emissions, demonstrating a clear contribution to the challenge of meeting the UK’s net zero carbon targets.

GB Railfreight (GBRf) has taken delivery of a Class 18 hybrid+ shunting locomotive as part of a three-month trial with Beacon Rail Leasing, marking the latest expansion of its growing fleet. 

The locomotive was delivered to Whitemoor on Tuesday 1 February, where it will undergo a series of testing to understand its capabilities and performance.

Manufactured by Staffordshire-based Clayton Equipment Ltd, the Class 18 is powered by an onboard battery that provides emissions-free operation where charging facilities are available, or through a regenerative braking system. When challenges with range or operation occur, an efficient onboard Stage V compliant engine can be utilised to increase the locomotives running time.

David Golding, Asset Director, GB Railfreight, said: “The Class 18 hybrid+ shunting locomotive has the power to play a key role in the decarbonisation of our future fleet. Going forward, it will offer a wide range of sustainable benefits capable of significantly reducing the environmental impact of our operations.”

Rob Dee, Chief Commercial Officer, Beacon, said: “We are very pleased to have delivered the first of our order of 15 Class 18 hybrid+ shunting locomotives, from Clayton Equipment, to GB Railfreight. This is a key milestone in our delivery program and we look forward to working with GB Railfreight through their trial period. This locomotive will offer our customers a greener and sustainable option for railfreight operations in the UK against the backdrop of targets to reduce emissions,”.

Clive Hannaford, Managing Director, Clayton Equipment, said: “We are very proud to supply GB Railfreight through Beacon Rail with the Class 18 locomotive. In the fast-changing environment with decarbonisation targets, the increased demand for lower emissions, new technology and more capacity, the Clayton Equipment Hybrid+ CBD90 will support GBRf with sustainable environmental benefits which meets their commitment to invest in new technology and provide real cost savings.”