Cemex, the global building materials supplier and the largest Mexican investor in the UK, with 3,000 people employed across 450 sites nationwide, has unveiled a GB Railfreight (GBRf) Class 66 locomotive resplendent in its own livery.
Music impresario and railway enthusiast Pete Waterman named the new loco ‘The Cemex Express’ at a ceremony at Dove Holes Quarry, recognising the partnership between GBRf and CEMEX that has now been in place for one year.
The new Cemex Express will haul trains between Dove Holes quarry and external customers throughout the UK, carrying premium aggregate for readymix and asphalt plants. It will pull 22 to 26 hopper wagons, which discharge their loads from underneath directly onto the plant’s conveyors.
A single trainload can deliver up to 2,000 tons of material in one trip and the train will make over 200 trips for CEMEX each year – the equivalent of over 20,000 truck movements taken of Britain’s roads.
Cemex managing director for UK Materials North, Lex Russell, commented: “Dove Holes is one of Cemex’s most important quarries and generates several million tonnes of limestone aggregates every year, as well as asphalt, readymix, concrete products and dry silo mortar. By rail, we then supply many locations across the UK including key cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham and London.
“It was therefore the perfect location to unveil the Cemex Express locomotive and take the opportunity to thank those in our team and at GBRf for their hard work and dedication to our rail partnership.”
GBRf managing director John Smith added: “We are delighted to unveil this fantastic Class 66 locomotive, painted in the Cemex livery and representing our two organisations’ ongoing partnership. This contract is demonstrative of the role rail freight has to play in helping the UK to cut carbon emissions and to improve air quality.
“On average, one gallon of fuel will move one tonne of goods 246 miles on the rail network, while the same amount will only get you 88 miles by road. Rail freight’s CO2 emissions are 76 per cent lower than road’s, per tonne carried. An average freight train removes 60 HGV journeys from the roads, and the largest up to 160.
“When this is combined with rail’s advantageous performance in terms of nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions, rail freight demonstrates a clear contribution to the challenge of meeting the UK’s carbon-cutting targets.”
Cemex has strong connections with the rail industry. It produces concrete sleepers at its site in Washwood Heath, Birmingham, and concrete crossing bearers at Somercotes in Derbyshire.