On November 12, Freightliner, the UK’s largest rail maritime intermodal operator, celebrates 50 years since the running of its first train which ran from London to Glasgow. Customers, industry representatives and colleagues will mark the anniversary with an event at the National Rail Museum in York, where the Secretary of State for Transport, Rt. Hon. Patrick McLoughlin MP, will deliver a keynote speech.

Since its creation in 1965 as the container arm of British Rail, the nationalized rail operator responsible for most passenger and freight railway services in Great Britain, Freightliner has gone from strength to strength.

In 1996, after three decades as part of both British Rail and the National Freight Corporation, Freightliner was sold through a management buyout (with the backing of 3i and Electra). This move was part of the wider privatization of the UK rail infrastructure and operations.

Since privatization, Freightliner has seen strong growth and has diversified beyond deep-sea intermodal traffic with the creation of several subsidiaries, including Freightliner Heavy Haul, Logico, Freightliner Maintenance, Freightliner Poland and Freightliner Australia. The Group also completed the acquisition of ERS Railways in the Netherlands and, most recently, expanded into the Middle East in the form of a UK consortium.

Earlier this year, Freightliner was acquired by Genesee & Wyoming, a US-based owner of short line and regional freight railroads serving more than 2,000 customers over 15,000 miles of track in five countries.

Jack Hellmann, President and Chief Executive Officer of Genesee & Wyoming, said: “Freightliner is an excellent strategic fit for G&W, adding a world-class intermodal and heavy haul franchise as the foundation of G&W’s UK/Europe business and unlocking more opportunities in Australia.”

“Working with Freightliner’s talented management team, who have a long track record of success in building Freightliner over the past two decades, we expect to grow the business even more and also unlock a range of investment opportunities worldwide.”

Freightliner Chief Executive Russell Mears said: “Our 50 year anniversary is a significant achievement. Freightliner is a respected, premium rail brand and our staff, some of whom have been with the company for over 40 years, are proud to be part of a successful organization with such a rich history.’’


Freightliner Group is a leading rail freight provider with businesses in the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Australia and the Middle East. It employs over 2,500 staff and offers

customers a wide range of rail freight solutions to cater for the requirements of a diverse market sector.

  • Freightliner Ltd: the UK’s largest transporter and inland terminal operator for the movement of deep sea maritime containers;
  • Freightliner Heavy Haul: a leading UK bulk rail freight company setting new standards of reliability, flexibility and customer service in the bulk rail freight sector whilst continuing to invest in innovative solutions for customers’ business needs;
  • Freightliner Maintenance: operating specialist facilities around the UK, Freightliner Maintenance offers infrastructure services and maintenance solutions for rolling stock.
  • Freightliner Poland and Germany: providing bulk rail freight services including coal, aggregates and other bulk commodities within Poland and Germany and cross border;
  • Freightliner Australia: transports coal and containerized agricultural products for customers in New South Wales and is an accredited rail service provider in Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland;
  • ERS Railways: provides cross border intermodal services connecting the northern European ports of Rotterdam, Bremerhaven and Hamburg to key cities in Germany, Poland, Italy and beyond; and
  • Freightliner Middle East: responsible for developing services to support this rapidly growing region. Recently signed a contract to support the development of world-class rail freight services in Saudi Arabia.
Across the Group, Freightliner continues to invest in locomotive technology, wagons and terminal infrastructure to provide safe, high quality, reliable service to customers.
Freightliner Group is owned by Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W). About G&W:
  • G&W owns or leases 120 freight railroads worldwide that are organized in 11 operating regions with 7,500 employees and more than 2,500 customers.
  • G&W’s nine North American regions serve 41 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces and include 113 short line and regional freight railroads with more than 13,000 track-miles. v G&W’s Australia Region provides rail freight services in New South Wales, the Northern Territory and South Australia and operates the 1,400-mile Tarcoola-to-Darwin rail line. v G&W’s UK/Europe Region is led by Freightliner.


G&W subsidiaries provide rail service at more than 40 major ports in North America, Australia and Europe and perform contract coal loading and railcar switching for industrial customers.