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DB Schenker to buy First GBRf


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Hi all,

 

I'd just like to raise a possibility and wonder what the general opinion/feasibility might be..........

 

I'm wondering what with the "alleged" considerations of FirstGroup to sell GBRf ( source : wnxx.com, REX, and industry grapevine ), if it is feasible for DBS to want to by GBRf in light of the traction and route knowledge that their staff possess and their suitability for the recently won SERCO work etc?

 

I'd be very interested if DBS did by GBRf as we could possibly end up driving some decent traction again such as 37's/73's and maybe some 31 action........

 

Just hoping............

 

smile.gif

 

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Could they? Possibly.

Will they? Umm....

 

Last I heard there were several companies in the running - to my mind the more exciting development for the industry would be that GBRf gets purchased by a company that isn't an existing railfreight operator.

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Oh please, please no.

 

In response to the OP, I imagine the prospects of you getting to drive traction types that were despised by the regime that was EWS are marginally less good than a snowball's chance in hell when the thermostat's broken. I'd give them a week before the crushing GM yinging boredom rises like the living dead from Toton storage to sweep all before it.

 

It will be another sad day when this happens, the can-do spirit of John Smith's GBRailfreight venture with its vision of great customer service delivered through independence and a personal touch, that ran from the MD right down to each roving fitter or driver sat in a weekend possession..., broken like a butterfly on the wheel of unstoppable, relentless consolidation under one monolithic, unmanouevrable Panzer-Sherman hybrid.

 

Is there a Monopolies Commission any more? (exhorts contributors not to take this into unacceptable political arenas).

 

 

EDIT at 0834: am I missing something, but last time I looked, GBRf was a 66 and 73 -only operator anyway, wasn't it...? Is there some confusion with DRS and freelance loco hirers here?

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Hi all,

 

I'd just like to raise a possibility and wonder what the general opinion/feasibility might be..........

 

I'm wondering what with the "alleged" considerations of FirstGroup to sell GBRf ( source : wnxx.com, REX, and industry grapevine ), if it is feasible for DBS to want to by GBRf in light of the traction and route knowledge that their staff possess and their suitability for the recently won SERCO work etc?

 

I'd be very interested if DBS did by GBRf as we could possibly end up driving some decent traction again such as 37's/73's and maybe some 31 action........

 

Just hoping............

 

Dave

 

I doubt very much DB would purchase another company for it's traction or for for the route experience as it has a very nice fleet already and has licence to roam all of the country does it not. What it would want are the contracts, but that assumes that there are no clauses about re-tendering should the incumbent operator fail or change hands.

 

Of course purchasing a competitor does of course strengthen it's own hand and that would be another good reason to buy.

 

Whilst there is a recession, reduced electricity demand and a slowing of renewals work on the railways there will be a lot of pressure on the smaller operators, DB with it's backing and network remains very strong to ride any storm.

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It's getting to the point that if DB do keep buying companies they will need to be stopped for various reasons, which in accordance to the forum guidelines on politics/economic politics, i shall not describe here.

 

In terms of railway topics and the like:

 

If Schenker did get GBRf i think the first thing they would do would be to get rid of the 73's, they don't need anymore engines in their fleet, there's loads in the DB Schenker fleet, it's just that you don't see half of the engines. In that sense that overides the point in buying the company for Stock and traction purposes.

 

As previous contributors have pointed out, they do not need the staff 'experiance' and the like because DB schenker near enough own all the bloomin' rights to run everywhere anyway so why buy a company which they don't need in their hands?

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It's getting to the point that if DB do keep buying companies they will need to be stopped for various reasons, which in accordance to the forum guidelines on politics/economic politics, i shall not describe here.

 

In terms of railway topics and the like:

 

If Schenker did get GBRf i think the first thing they would do would be to get rid of the 73's, they don't need anymore engines in their fleet, there's loads in the DB Schenker fleet, it's just that you don't see half of the engines. In that sense that overides the point in buying the company for Stock and traction purposes.

 

As previous contributors have pointed out, they do not need the staff 'experiance' and the like because DB schenker near enough own all the bloomin' rights to run everywhere anyway so why buy a company which they don't need in their hands?

Unless they lost the London Underground work, they'd need to keep the 73s- there's also work for them on Thameslink, I believe.

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I'd think a more likely outcome would be that Freightliner purchases GBRf - the container work could then be absorbed into Freightliner intermodal , with the remainder (coal , cement , ballast etc ) falling under the Freightliner Heavy haul banner.

 

Traction-wise this makes more sense as both use class 66s , the more obscure stuff that GBRf hires in would more than likely fall by the wayside , with the probable exception of the 73s , bearing in mind their usefulness on certain engineering works.

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While Freightliner is probably the most likely candidate, there are a few other contenders in the ring for GBRf. Like DB, SNCF is pursuing an expansionist strategy outside its domestic market and GBRf would be a good fit with its international portfolio (which so far does not include a UK operator). Eurotunnel could also be interested in GBRf to expand its Europorte 2 operation.

 

It would be a shame if GBRf lost the 'can-do' culture that John Smith and his team have built up over the last decade. There are few railfreight companies with such a positive attitude to the job.

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While Freightliner is probably the most likely candidate, there are a few other contenders in the ring for GBRf. Like DB, SNCF is pursuing an expansionist strategy outside its domestic market and GBRf would be a good fit with its international portfolio (which so far does not include a UK operator). Eurotunnel could also be interested in GBRf to expand its Europorte 2 operation.

 

It would be a shame if GBRf lost the 'can-do' culture that John Smith and his team have built up over the last decade. There are few railfreight companies with such a positive attitude to the job.

SNCF's enlargement has been largely in Belgium, Italy (and possibly Germany), trying to gain control over international traffic which passes through France. The flow of traffic from the UK is, regrettably, insignificant in comparison. The state of Fret SNCF (and SNCF in general) is at a low ebb at present, as the previous discussions on here about stored locos indicates- I can't honestly see them being interested.

As to Europorte2- for obvious reasons, I can't comment, though GBRf have been heavily involved in driver training for them. The main emphasis with EP2 seems to be on flows within France at present.

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I'd think a more likely outcome would be that Freightliner purchases GBRf - the container work could then be absorbed into Freightliner intermodal , with the remainder (coal , cement , ballast etc ) falling under the Freightliner Heavy haul banner.

 

Traction-wise this makes more sense as both use class 66s , the more obscure stuff that GBRf hires in would more than likely fall by the wayside , with the probable exception of the 73s , bearing in mind their usefulness on certain engineering works.

 

FL are also in the running, but for exactly the same reasons as mentioned with DB Schenker above I don't think it's neccesarily either a good fit for them or a good thing to happen for the industry.

 

FL could (in fact probably have) bid for all the work GBRf has won over the years, they would gain nothing new in terms of the kinds of business they can do, their only gain as said before would be some contracts which as mentioned above are somewhat fleeting things - if a customer has chosen somebody else before they can do it again.

 

I'd suggest if FL win there will be more chance of a competition commission complaint over rail access to Felixstowe, GBRf are currently the second operator there.

 

Out of 26 daily round trips to the port GBRf currently account for 5 and DB Schenker just 2, the remainder are Freightliner, so whilst FL dominates there is some balance. If it became a situation where FL has paths for 24 of the 26 trains and paths for newcomers are scarce then them being forced to give up paths to other operators could be an outcome.

 

As I said earlier, I believe there are companies in the running which are in the freight transport sphere but aren't currently working in rail...that would have the effect of GBRf remaining independant from the other operators and maybe even gaining some new-to-rail business from it's new owners into the bargain.

 

Second best would be somebody like Europorte or SNCF.

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It would be a shame if GBRf lost the 'can-do' culture that John Smith and his team have built up over the last decade. There are few railfreight companies with such a positive attitude to the job.

 

According to a mate of mine - who works for them - this has all changed to "You WILL do" when management from a certain Doubtful Boastful Service where brought in (allegedly)

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FL are also in the running, but for exactly the same reasons as mentioned with DB Schenker above I don't think it's neccesarily either a good fit for them or a good thing to happen for the industry.

 

I'd agree that it would not necessarily be the best thing for the industry , but then again , sadly that sort of sentiment matters not where large sums of money and bus operators are involved...

 

As for the monopolies commission , I'd don't recall any such uproar when EWS took over the regional freight companies or Railfreight Distribution , so I can't really see them objecting here, there will still be open-access for any freight companies , just less of them to tender for work.

 

I understand that FL and DBS picked up the work that was formerly Fastline operated - if it were truly a level and fair playing field , surely that work should have been re-tendered?

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SNCF's enlargement has been largely in Belgium, Italy (and possibly Germany), trying to gain control over international traffic which passes through France. The flow of traffic from the UK is, regrettably, insignificant in comparison. The state of Fret SNCF (and SNCF in general) is at a low ebb at present, as the previous discussions on here about stored locos indicates- I can't honestly see them being interested.

 

What goes on within Fret SNCF seems to have little bearing on what SNCF does outside France, if they want to make an acquisition they can usually find the cash.

 

SNCF has two choices, it either exploits its position as a state-owned operator to build itself up as an international logistics player in the same manner as DB, or it concentrates on its (troubled) domestic market and watches DB gradually erode its market share. SNCF finds it far easier to strengthen its freight business outside France where it is relatively free from the restrictive working practices and poor productivity that blights Fret SNCF. The European railfreight market is consolidating quickly and if this trend continues we'll soon be at a point where just a handful of large state-owned operators dominate, so it's expand or die.

 

The acquisition of ITL in Germany and Veolia Cargo suggests SNCF is interested in far more than just gaining control of intermodal services running through France. I don't think they're the favourite for GBRf by any means but equally you can't rule out a bid.

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As for the monopolies commission , I'd don't recall any such uproar when EWS took over the regional freight companies or Railfreight Distribution , so I can't really see them objecting here, there will still be open-access for any freight companies , just less of them to tender for work.

 

I understand that FL and DBS picked up the work that was formerly Fastline operated - if it were truly a level and fair playing field , surely that work should have been re-tendered?

 

 

When the last of the artificial freight GoCo's was sold to Wisconsin Central - RfD - there was indeed a referral to the MMC, which found in favour of the BRB's preferred sale.

 

Unsurprisingly, given the unpopularity of the privatisation with the general public, and the fact that the MMC was thus quite possibly leant-on to find in WC's favour, to quote W.Shakespeare:

"If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well

It were done quickly."

wink.gif

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I'd agree that it would not necessarily be the best thing for the industry , but then again , sadly that sort of sentiment matters not where large sums of money and bus operators are involved...

 

Whilst I agree, i'd caution against this thread descending into the negative, seemingly just because FL and DBS exist. There are other bidders, we need to wait and see.

 

I'm fairly hopeful it won't be one of those two, mainly because I don't see that either of them have that much to gain from such a deal.

 

And just as First are looking for cash, DBS and FL aren't likely to just stump up cash for nothing.

 

As for the monopolies commission , I'd don't recall any such uproar when EWS took over the regional freight companies or Railfreight Distribution , so I can't really see them objecting here, there will still be open-access for any freight companies , just less of them to tender for work.

 

Ah, but when EW&S was formed we didn't have working open access so there was nobody to object. tongue.gif

 

A FL+GBRf tie up will drastically reduce competition at the UK's largest container port - and there isn't lots of capacity there for another operator to just start running extra trains to increase the competition.

 

I understand that FL and DBS picked up the work that was formerly Fastline operated - if it were truly a level and fair playing field , surely that work should have been re-tendered?

 

We have a level and fair playing field, you can't just retender major contracts over a weekend, it takes a month or two at minimum.

 

Power stations can't just close down while they do that so FL and DBS are running the trains on a short term basis until that can happen, i'm not sure what you think is so unfair about that? huh.gif

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So it looks like this

 

gallery_6899_468_43102.jpg

was the nearest guess then!

Good news that there will be a new operator on the UK freight scene, rather than losing one to the exisiting competitors. I wonder if the GBRf name will remain? Could we see the livery reverting to blue and orange?laugh.gif

cheers

 

jo

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