Finding innovative refuelling solutions to improve operational efficiency in rail logistics

Transport and logistics

In rail logistics, operational efficiency directly impacts the bottom line.

When a fuelling hose system at a depot was causing delays to fuelling time due to bad user design and required more frequent maintenance due to wear and tear, GB Railfreight looked to us to create an innovative solution.

The challenge

Train re-fuelling takes place via a 40,000 litre cylindrical bunded tank at the side of the tracks. The train driver pulls alongside the tank and opens a sliding door at the front of the tank to pull out the fuelling hose, plug it into the main tank to fuel up, then reel it back and close the tank door.

The Peterborough depot has had recurring issues with its fuelling hose.

Given the length of hose required to reach train fuelling points, the equipment is heavy and not very user friendly. Stainless steel couplings at the end of hose also experience more wear and tear than shorter hoses, as it is often dragged on the ground when re-coiling.

This wear and tear can damage the seal which leads to a greater risk of leaks and spills of fuel into the environment.

We attend GB Railfreight’s sites at least once a month to deal with repairs to valves caused by this type of wear and tear.

Our solution

We designed and installed a bespoke fuelling arm system, with the fuel hose suspended on a frame.

This innovative solution reduces the chance of injuries, ensuring the safety of GB Railfreight’s operators, while alleviating wear from the fuel hose being dragged on the ground.

Results and benefits

  • Employee health and safety has improved
  • The environment is protected from fewer fuel spills
  • The asset is effectively maintained, reducing the need for call-outs

Several drivers have commented on the difference it has made to them.

We will also be installing several more of the new fuelling arms.

15 minutes

saved per re-fuel

5 trains

re-fuel at the hose per day

325 hours

saved per year

£400 per hour

cost to run a standard loco


cost for the project


saved in one year by installing the new equipment

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