Drax rail project named as best in class

By Drax Group | September 25, 2018

The partnership between Drax Power Station, near Selby, in North Yorkshire and Davis Wagon Services saw a new fleet of freight wagons designed and built to deliver the biomass needed to produce renewable electricity for millions of homes.

It also enabled Davis Wagon Services, a North Lincolnshire-based rail firm, to invest £850,000 in revamping a mothballed Ferrybridge rail yard as a dedicated site to rebrand and maintain the power station’s fleet of 225 unique freight wagons, securing local jobs in the process.

Now, the program has been named as the “Project of the Year” by industry body the Rail Freight Group in recognition of the innovation involved in the work by Drax and Davis Wagon Services, the U.K.’s last independent freight wagon manufacturer.

The wagons, which transport biomass from ports on the east and west coasts of the U.K. to Drax, are maintained at the newly re-opened Ferrybridge yard, just over 20 miles away from the power station.

John Hall, MD of Davis Wagon Services, said, “This is a monumental achievement for us and to be recognized in this way for the work we’ve done is incredible. We couldn’t have done it without the support of Drax.

“There are so many outstanding projects in our industry, and so to be singled out like this is a huge compliment to everyone who worked on the project.”

Drax Power CEO Andy Koss said, “This was an important project for us and I’m delighted that the innovation and hard work of everyone involved has been recognized in this way.

“These trains deliver up to 20,000 tonnes of biomass every day to the power station playing a vital part in supplying renewable power to millions of homes and businesses. Furthermore, the project has helped support a local business and revitalize a disused facility within the Northern Powerhouse region, which we’re very proud to be a part of.”

The rail project—described as a “Northern Powerhouse success story” in July by government minister Jake Berry—began in 2011 when Drax appointed Davis, along with Lloyds Register Rail (Ricardo) to design and develop bespoke rail wagons to ferry biomass to the power station, the largest decarbonization project in Europe.

It also saw Davis take on the work to maintain the 225 wagons and the firm will also now re-brand each one over the next two years in new livery featuring both Drax and the Northern Powerhouse logos.