Canadian Biomass Magazine

Drax, UK rail companies work to maintain biomass supplies during COVID-19

April 14, 2020
By Drax

A GBRf biomass train makes its way from Drax Power Station after February floods. Photo by Chris Davis.

Teams at GB Railfreight (GBRf) are continuing to work closely with Drax to maintain supplies of the sustainable biomass needed for the UK’s largest power station to generate electricity needed by millions of homes and business during the COVID-19 crisis.

Severe storms and flooding in the area near Drax in February resulted in damage to the rail tracks. GBRf has been working closely with Drax to reschedule rail deliveries and maximize capacity on the rail link while the repairs are completed – maintaining the vital supplies of biomass needed for Drax to generate enough renewable electricity for up to four million households.

The rail planners who helped rework the timetable to accommodate the new train timings combined forces with train drivers, signal controllers, Network Rail train marshals and Drax logistics specialists to speedily restore flows of sustainable biomass to the power station.

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said:


“The teams who are working tirelessly across the UK rail freight system and also within our power stations to keep the lights on and keep the country going during this COVID-19 crisis are doing a tremendous job.

As teams work around the clock to keep generating the power the country needs, their health, safety and wellbeing are vital. Across all our sites we have implemented strategies to reduce the chances of spreading the virus and have operational plans in place to ensure continued delivery of power into the grid.

GBRf’s rail deliveries are an important part of our global supply chain for sustainable biomass that supports thousands of jobs and has delivered economic growth across the north of England and in the U.S. south.”

Nick King, group director, network services for Network Rail, said:

“The railway plays a crucial part in keeping Britain running, particularly in these challenging times and strong teamwork across the rail industry is absolutely key in keeping freight services moving.

Recent flooding in this area brought additional challenges to keeping services moving, however the hard work and dedication of our people has meant that vital supplies of sustainable biomass have continued to be transported.”

Print this page


Stories continue below