DB CARGO says it is relaunching the business after reaching agreement with four trade unions (Aslef, RMT, TSSA and Unite). In October 2016, the company announced proposals to cut 893 jobs, about a third of its workforce, in a restructuring programme. It also stated its intention to reduce the size of its fleet and revise the number of locations and operational sites. The move was triggered by the dramatic decline in freight’s core markets, particularly coal.

Hans-Georg Werner, CEO of DB Cargo UK, said: ‘We will now move forward with our plans to lead the next generation of rail freight, which includes key investments.

‘This includes investment in new wagons (MMAs), terminal enhancements and developing bespoke in-house IT solutions such as our customer order to cash system Anubis.

‘Another example of our investment in technology is that we are fitting digitalised locomotive remote conditioning monitoring to 97 Class 66s and 28 Class 67s in the UK fleet. This enables us to identify and remedy a potential mechanical problem on a loco up to two weeks before it may have resulted in a failure. We already run the most reliable locos in UK rail freight – for example, our Class 66s travel the longest distance per technical incident compared with our competitors. But we do not rest on our laurels and we continue to find ways to be even better.’

DBC is buying up to 200 new MMA aggregate wagons from Astra in Romania.