Deal agreed for three Zephir depot shunters

Porterbrook has announced the purchase of three Zephir ‘LOK 16.300’ depot shunters which will be leased to GB Railfreight for shunting at Celsa Steel Works in Cardiff.

The LOK 16.300 is a more sustainable option than traditional depot shunters, with an expected fuel efficiency saving of up to 60%, which provides depot operational flexibility as they are capable of operating outside of railway infrastructure.

As it is not currently possible to use battery or electric traction at Celsa Works due to the duty cycle, the Zephir depot shunters are fitted with EU Stage V engines, the latest in low emission engine standards for reduced pollution and lower CO emissions. They are also able to run on HVO bio-diesel.

Asset Director of GB Railfreight Dave Golding said: “We’re pleased to be adding these new industry-leading Zephir shunt locotractors to our fleet. The LOK 16.300 locotractors alongside other recent significant investments made by GB Railfreight, including 50 modern JNA-X wagons from Porterbrook will help us deliver our target to be net zero by 2050 and help to decarbonise the UK’s supply chains.”

Porterbrook’s Head of Freight and Route Services Mark Wyborn said: “Porterbrook is committed to investing in rail freight for the long-term. With over 300 depot shunters currently operating in the UK and most due for renewal over the next five years, bringing these lower-emission Zephirs under our ownership for GB Railfreight marks a further diversification of our freight fleet, and underlines our dedication to support the sector with affordable, innovative and sustainable rolling stock.”

“We look forward to working with Zephir and our industry partners to continue the roll out of more sustainable assets for depot operations.”

Director at Depot Rail Owen Snell said: “We are really pleased to have the opportunity to work with Porterbrook and GB Railfreight to provide a more sustainable shunting solution for Celsa’s Cardiff operations.”

The new shunters will replace the current use of Class 08 shunters, that precede all EU low emissions standards. The units have been procured through Zephir’s UK distributor Depot Rail, who will also support the shunters while they are in active operations. Zephir Spa, a business unit of Marmon Holdings Inc./ A Berkshire Hathaway Company has over 55 years’ experience in manufacturing railroad shunters. The delivery of the first unit is expected in October 2024.