The railway and its key workers are keeping vital freight services moving during the Covid-19 pandemic. Freight services keep supermarket shelves stocked and key medical equipment moving, as well as transporting biomass to generate energy and keep the nation powered up.
Every week, over 30,000 tonnes of sustainably-sourced wood pellets are transported from the Port of Tyne to Lynemouth Power Station via the railway. The biomass travels a short way up the East Coast Main Line from Newcastle, before using the Ashington, Blyth and Tyne lines and heading onto the facility.
The railway is absolutely vital in getting the biomass to where it needs to be, as freight services are Lynemouth Power’s primary means of bulk supply. Network Rail is working round the clock to make sure that the railway can continue running reliably on this heavily used route, which sees two GBRF sets, each carrying around 1700 tonnes, running six to seven days per week whenever necessary.
Kevin Newman, Senior Freight Manager, for Network Rail, said: “The railway continues to play a key role during the Covid-19 crisis by keeping vital freight services moving, including deliveries of biomass enabling power to be generated for homes and businesses across the country.
“We’ve been able to meet demand thanks to the dedication of Network Rail teams who are working round the clock, as well as the close working partnership we have with Lynemouth Power, Port of Tyne and GBRF.”
Carl Hopper, Managing Director of Lynemouth Power Limited, commented: “Collectively, all of our delivery partners play a significant part in the overall energy production process. Every one of them ensures that Lynemouth Power Station, part of a critical industry, can operate efficiently and with a ‘business as usual’ approach wherever possible despite the challenges the country now faces as a whole.
“Network Rail is a key part of our fuel logistics supply chain and provides an essential service transporting biomass wood pellets from the Port of Tyne up to Lynemouth Power Station. We will continue to work closely and collaboratively with them to ensure that we keep powering the country, and acknowledge the dedication and effort being made by their team at this time.”
Matt Beeton, Port of Tyne Chief Executive, said: “The Port of Tyne plays a crucial role in supporting supply chains across the North East, and Britain as a whole.
“By working in partnership with Network Rail, Lynemouth Power and GBRF, we’re helping to keep Britain going during these unprecedented times.”
John Smith, GB Railfreight Managing Director said: “GB Railfreight is delighted to be playing its part in supporting the UK’s response to the ongoing pandemic by helping to keep essential services running throughout the country. For example, we are transporting and delivering vital supplies of sustainable biomass to and from Lynemouth Power Station to the Port of Tyne, by doing so, we are playing our part to keep the lights on during this crisis.
“We will stop at nothing to ensure our locos continue to ship vital supplies right across the country and will be redoubling our efforts to ensure we keep the country going at this time of emergency.”