Back to news Porterbrook leads postal train resurgence with Rail Operations Group tie up

Porterbrook leads postal train resurgence with Rail Operations Group tie up

Porterbrook is supplying the Rail Operations Group (ROG) with bi-mode FLEX trains to support the company’s expansion into the rail postal industry. Increasing congestion on the road network, a shortage of HGV drivers and the rapid growth in on-line shopping has led many shipping firms to explore rail as a key part of their logistics chain. A lack of suitable trains has thus far delayed the move.

Working with ROG, Porterbrook will renovate two of its innovative FLEX trains for light logistics traffic. The FLEX trains are capable of operating on both electrified and non-electrified routes will help meet shippers needs for rapid movement of goods and just-in-time delivery.

The operational flexibility of the bi-mode FLEX train complements the flexibility of ROG’s offering to light logistics shippers. The trains can be made available to single users (one customer secures all space within the train) or to multi-users depending on the shippers’ day-to-day requirements or need to meet deadlines. Mary Grant, CEO of Porterbrook said: "We are excited be breaking new ground with ROG as we both move into light parcel logistics for the first time. The UK’s light logistics sector is experiencing huge changes and we’re delighted that we can support the sustainable solution on the rail network. Porterbrook is particularly pleased that ROG have recognised the potential for non-passenger use of our innovative FLEX trains and over coming months we will be exploring further opportunities to support the successful UK railfreight sector."

Karl Watts, CEO of Rail Operations Group, said: "The time is right for a modal shift from road to rail for logistics and express parcels services. ROG are leading the industry in delivering this shift and the FLEX trains are the perfect rail-borne solution to make this happen. There is huge opportunity to re-establish a comprehensive network of express parcels trains and help reduce the number of commercial vehicles on UK roads which will, in turn, help to drive improvements in the UK economy.”

Maggie Simpson, Director General of the Rail Freight Group (RFG), said: "RFG welcomes ROG’s move into the express parcels market, this is traffic that is highly suited to the rail network. I am also very pleased to see Porterbrook’s renewed appetite for railfreight investment. The creation of dedicated FLEX trains for light logistics work is a significant vote of confidence in our sector." The new FLEX parcels trains will be delivered to ROG in early 2020.

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NOTES TO EDITORS Media Contacts Porterbrook Leasing Rupert Brennan Brown, Head of Communications and Engagement Rupert@porterbrook.co.uk or +44 (0)7973 950 923 Financial or corporate PR enquiries can also be directed to: Maitland James Isola, Partner jisola@maitland.co.uk James McFarlane, Partner jmcfarlane@maitland.co.uk or +44 (0)20 7379 5151 About Porterbrook

  • Porterbrook Leasing Company Limited ("Porterbrook") is a leading participant in the rail leasing market and has a rolling stock fleet of around 5,000 vehicles on lease or on order, which includes c.4,500 passenger vehicles. Since privatisation, Porterbrook has invested over £3bn in the UK rail market. The company is looking to invest a further £1bn in Britain’s railway over the next five years.
  • Porterbrook has successfully introduced over 2,300 new vehicles into passenger service. The company continues to invest across its existing fleets to ensure they remain attractive to operators and passengers. Porterbrook also provides ongoing train maintenance services.
  • In October 2014, the Porterbrook Group of companies was acquired by a consortium of investors including Alberta Investment Management Corporation (“AIMCo”), Allianz Capital Partners (“ACP”) on behalf of certain insurance companies of the Allianz Group, EDF Invest and a consortium of Utilities Trust of Australia (“UTA”), The Infrastructure Fund (“TIF”) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Pension Fund (“RBS”).