GB Railfreight has announced that Class 66 # 66796 has been officially named as part of the new logistics hub HS2.
‘The Green Progressor’ is the name chosen by Jermain Allen from Leeds. Jermaine also revealed the nameplate of GB Railfreight’s 66796 as part of the grand opening of HS2’s brand new 30-acre logistics hub, located near Willesden Junction in London.
The Class 66 locomotive will be used to move HS2 building materials, cuttings and aggregate to depots throughout the first phase of the new rail line, which runs from the West Midlands to London and, as a result, will reduce carbon emissions.
The locomotive is one of five Class 66s that GB Railfreight has imported from Germany and will provide additional capacity as the country’s rail freight industry grows.
Not only did the locomotive get a big name, but also a brand new livery that aims to promote the environmental benefits of delivering HS2 materials by rail rather than by road, as the new name suggests. The locomotive will make its first exit by the end of 2021 following renovations that will allow it to have the latest communication systems.
Each locomotive used by HS2 to move aggregate and building materials removes around 76 trucks from UK roads and motorways. With around 100 freight trains running on the rail network every week, transporting HS2 materials means that not only are our roads becoming safer, but also HS2’s commitment to reduce the carbon impact of its construction to a minimum of 50 % is well advanced in terms of each tonne of freight transported by rail reduces CO2 emissions by 76% compared to road movements.
Jermaine is a avowed rail enthusiast and has been keeping abreast of the development and construction of the HS2 since he was 5 years old. Jermaine’s parents visited many construction sites along the 140 mile route HS2 will take from the West Midlands to London Euston.
The official opening event meant that the 15-year dream has come true as he was invited to the new logistics hub which has been built and will be managed by HS2’s construction partner, the joint venture Skanska Costain STRABAG (SCS JV ).
Jermaine also had a very special surprise that day, as GB Railfreight and SCS JV arranged for him to unveil another nameplate for a Class 08 shunting locomotive that bears his name.
The new Class 66 livery and the opportunity to offer Jermaine an invitation to nominate the Class 66 were curated by HS2 Conventional Rail Interface Director Andrew Graham and GB Railfreight CEO John Smith. Both companies were very proud to show the vital role that transporting materials by rail freight plays in reducing carbon emissions, while giving Jermaine the opportunity of a lifetime.
Over the next 10 years, nearly 15,000 freight trains will move 10 million tonnes of aggregate for HS2 construction sites, representing a huge investment for the UK rail freight industry.
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 play a role in delivering Europe’s largest infrastructure project.
Andrew Graham, Director of Conventional Rail Interface at HS2 Ltd, said: “Jermaine’s passion, enthusiasm and knowledge is simply exceptional and we are delighted to have created this opportunity for him.
The Class 08 “Jermaine” locotractor will occupy a permanent base in HS2’s new logistics center in Willesden, where it will move the wagons into position ready to transport and receive materials.
John Smith, CEO of GB Railfreight, said: “It is wonderful to provide a young railroad enthusiast like Jermaine with the opportunity to name one of our Class 66 locomotives. By choosing the name ‘The Green Progressor He really understood the role that rail freight can play in providing a more sustainable logistics solution for the construction of the HS2.
“Working with SCS JV, we have also been honored to celebrate Jermaine’s special bond with our railways by giving his name to a Class 08 locomotive.”
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