UK: the first freight train running on eco-friendly GD+ fuel has been put into service

UK: the first freight train running on eco-friendly GD+ fuel has been put into service

The new Freightliner service has made its first journey from Southampton to Crewe. The use of the green fuel GD+, which produces significantly lower CO₂e emissions compared to diesel, is fully funded by Ocean Network Express (ONE).

Freightliner, a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W), and Ocean Network Express (ONE) have agreed to realize their commitment to greener transport by launching their first-ever rail solution supported by GD+ fuel in the UK. For the Southampton to Crewe line, ONE will purchase GD+ fuel to cover all the fuel volume required. An electric locomotive will be used for the onward journey to Freightliner Coatbridge terminal in Scotland. This service will become one of the most environmentally friendly rail freight routes on British Rail.

“This is an exciting and significant step forward in delivering impactful environmental benefits for the UK rail freight industry, and we are delighted to be partnering with ONE to make this happen,” said Andrew Daly, Chief Commercial Officer for Freightliner.

GD+ is a type of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) and can be used as a diesel replacement. This drop-in fuel is produced exclusively from waste and residual oils and is regarded as renewable, environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and sustainable. Its use leads to significant savings in CO₂e emissions - up to 80% for a 700 km train journey. In the UK, only 38% of the rail network is electrified, so the introduction of alternative fuels could be a quick and effective transition to significantly reducing the country's emissions.

“As a global carrier, we aim to be the link between customer and supplier to accelerate the transition towards a fully green supply chain. Our long-term relationship with Freightliner has enabled us to align our green ambitions and act swiftly to support the logistical needs of our customers between Scotland and Southampton. We are very hopeful to further expand our green network throughout the UK moving forward,” commented Simon Parsons, Director of the Ocean Network Express UK Agency.

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