Victa Railfreight, the Maidstone based provider of operational support services to the rail sector, are celebrating a double success for its ground-breaking local rail operations at Dove Holes quarry in Derbyshire’s Peak District.
The first recognition was winning the Customer Care prize at the industry's Railfreight Group Awards evening for a joint entry with their customer Cemex, with whom Victa has established a close and collaborative working relationship.
The judges of this award were particularly impressed with the turn-round in both the output figures by rail from the quarry, which moved some 2.6m tonnes of aggregate last year by rail to receiving depots around the UK taking over 100,000 lorries off the congested roads of the Peak District and the road networks beyond, and the improved performance in timekeeping of services from the site which minimised the impact of late running trains across the rail network.
This was Victa’s eighth win since the awards started in 2008, including the prestigious Railfreight Business of the Year in 2017.
This success was followed a week later with Victa being Highly Commended for the same operation in the Freight and Logistics Achievement of the Year category of the popular National Rail Awards in London. Once again the judges were impressed by the improvements in performance and said that “the operational efficiencies and improvements that have been achieved in the first period of modified operations are more than sufficient to justify this commendation, but this entry also demonstrates that there can be value in taking a fresh look at how some freight operations are structured”.
Victa Railfreight commenced a long-term contract with CEMEX for the terminal operations in June 2018 and since then there has been an increase in volume leaving the quarry with 99% of departures being right time.
The contract employs twelve local staff who were recruited and trained for both shunting and locomotive driving duties by Victa and provide operational cover twenty-four hours a day, six days a week.
Neil Sime, Managing Director of Victa Railfreight said “both of these awards reflect the efforts of our team at Dove Holes and elsewhere who provide first class customer service on a daily basis. The performance improvements we have seen reflect the close collaboration between the parties involved and validate Cemex’s decision to do things differently and appoint Victa to specifically manage the shunting and loading operations at the quarry”.
Mark Grimshaw-Smith, Head of Rail & Sea for Cemex said “I am very proud that our collaboration with Victa has achieved what we set out to do and the improved network performance and innovative approach has been recognised by the industry. Our aim at Cemex is to continue to improve the safety of our rail operations, to be a responsible user of the network and to continue to grow our rail tonnages to reduce our environmental impact by reducing road movements. I know Victa share the same vision and it is a pleasure having them in our team”.
Victa Railfreight is currently working with other terminal operators to provide similar solutions to ensure the future development and growth of Freight on rail.