Castle Cement back on track

Castle Cement back on track
Published: 26 June 2007

Castle Cement is to re-introduce bulk cement movements from its Ribblesdale works, West Bradford, Ribble Valley, to the firm’s production facility near Glasgow.  
Each train will carry the same amount as 35 lorries and the move could see up to 560 fewer trips made by road every month.  
As well as removing lorries and reducing CO2 emissions, the trains will speed up journey times between East Lancashire and Glasgow.  
Castle Cement has signed a 10-year rail wagon hire contract with Worcester-based VTG Rail for 15 newly built aluminium rail wagons.  
The first trains are due to start running from Castle’s Ribblesdale plant, which already has a rail line, in November. More rail wagons could be added in the future.  
Mike Eberlin, managing director of  Castle Cement said: "This move allows us to further improve our distribution and better serve our customers in Scotland, at the same time as being very environmentally friendly.  
"In total we may be able to eliminate 560 lorry movements each month  
"A significant reduction in the number of lorry movements is a small but important piece in the jigsaw puzzle which continues to make  Castle Cement probably the most environmentally conscious cement manufacturer in the UK."  
Castle employs 420 people at Ribblesdale. It stopped sending cement by railway in 1992, when freight trains were banned from using the Settle to Carlisle line.  
Since then the firm’s HGVs have had to travel along the A59 and the M6 to Scotland. 
The train wagons, each with an 80 tonne payload, will be able to use the Settle to Carlisle route again after  Network Rail announced a £58million upgrade of the line.