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Railhub Archive
1996-02-24 DoT-001
Department of Transport


Privatisation is the key in rail's fight for freight with roads – Sir George Young

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Department of Transport

Privatisation is the key in rail's fight for freight with roads – Sir George Young

24 February 1996
source Department of Transport
type Press release

note 055

The sale of British Rail's three Trainload Freight companies -
Loadhaul, Mainline Freight and Transrail Freight - was announced
today by Transport Secretary, Sir George Young.

The companies have been sold to North and South Railways, a
consortium led by the Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation.
Loadhaul, Mainline and Transrail undertake bulk railfreight transport
- principally coal, metals, petroleum and aggregates - throughout
Great Britain. The companies had a combined turnover of #558.7
million in 1994/95 and employ about 7,000 staff.

Welcoming the sale, Sir George Young said:

"Privatisation is the key in rail's fight for freight. Free from the
restrictions of state ownership Trainload Freight will be better
placed than ever to reverse the long term drift to roads and pursue
innovative, customer-oriented strategies. The eagerness of the
private sector to take up this challenge is even more evidence of the
business community putting its weight firmly behind rail

As well as bulk railfreight transport, the Trainload Freight
companies also provide engineering-train services - haulage of
ballast, sleepers and track - for works on Railtrack's network.

Wisconsin Central Transportation is part of a group of companies that
operate the largest regional railroad in the United States, providing
rail services in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota, as well
as Ontario in Canada. The company is almost exclusively a freight
railroad operator but also has a significant shareholding in New
Zealand's 2,500 mile railroad system - New Zealand Rail. Wisconsin
Central Transportation purchased Rail express systems, the former
British Rail mail-train subsidiary, in December.

Sir George Young said:

"The privatisation of the Trainload Freight companies represents the
best hope for a resurgence in freight haulage by rail in Great
Britain. The addition of Wisconsin Central Transportation's
international rail experience can only be good news for Britain's
rail industry and its customers."


1. Loadhaul - formerly TLF Northeast - is based in Doncaster and has
regional operations centres in Doncaster and Middlesbrough. Principal
customers are National Power, British Steel, British Coal VRJB, Total
Oil and PowerGen.

2. Mainline Freight - formerly TLF Southeast - is based in London and
has regional operations centres in Nottingham and Westbury. Principal
customers are National Power, PowerGen, Mendip Rail and Redland

3. Transrail Freight - formerly TLF West - is based in Crewe and has
regional centres in Cardiff, Warrington and Motherwell. Principal
customers are British Steel, National Power, Nuclear Electric,
English China Clays and PowerGen.

4. An information memorandum was issued for the Trainload Freight
companies in July 1995 by Hill Samuel Bank, the British Railways
Board's financial advisors. Final bids for the companies were
received in December.

5. Former British Rail businesses for which sales contracts have
already been signed for transfer to the private sector include Red
Star, Rail express systems, the three rolling-stock leasing
companies, OBS (formerly On Board Services) Limited and Railways
Occupational Health Limited.

Public Enquiries: 0171 271 4800

# = pounds sterling

Railhub Archive ::: 1996-02-24 DoT-001


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