COP26 has seen GB Railfreight (GBRf) officially name one of its Class 92 electric trains.
GBRf called it ‘Billy Stirling’ during a ceremony at Mossend International Railfreight Park (MIRP) as part of the global environmental event which is taking place in Glasgow.
Situated next to the electrified West Coast Main Line, MIRP is Scotland’s largest international multi-modal rail freight park and welcomes up to 16 trains per day. At peak operation, the rail freight park has the capacity to save over 200,000 tonnes of carbon per year, supporting a transition to a zero-carbon economy.
As the third generation of the 151-year-old family-owned operator, Peter D. Stirling Limited, Billy Stirling introduced rail involvement into the company. Following this success, the Peter D. Stirling operation moved to Mossend Railhead in 1981. Under Billy’s guidance, the operator continued to thrive, resulting in the MIPR of present day.
The naming ceremony was a part of the ‘Let’s Talk about Rail Freight’ day at the Low Carbon Logistics event, developed to support the UK and Scottish Governments’ vision for a zero-carbon supply chain at COP26. The name was unveiled by Billy Stirling’s daughter, Julie Corr.
Low Carbon Logistics is a three-day event committed to raising the profile and awareness of low carbon transition in the rail and road freight sectors, providing the opportunity to celebrate innovation and promote the importance of Pulling Together for Net Zero.
GBRf says Class 92s are the most powerful electric locomotives in the UK, with the ability to work all over the electrified network as well as through the Channel Tunnel in France. They have been specially converted for operation of Caledonian Sleeper vehicles.
Tim Hartley, business development director of GB Railfreight, said: “Billy Stirling was a true pioneer of the modern rail freight market in Scotland and played a vital role in the UK’s economic prosperity. It’s great to see his legacy live on through the next generation of the Stirling family and the development of a major new low carbon, multi-modal rail freight facility in MIRP.”
David Stirling, managing director of Peter D. Stirling Limited, said: “The whole Stirling family is very pleased that our father, Billy Stirling’s hard work in building up the business has been recognised in such a magnificent way. His name is now attached to one of the strongest and ‘greenest’ electric freight locomotives around – something he would have been very proud of.”