Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel has snapped up the UK’s third biggest rail freight company in a £31 million deal. Eurotunnel’s move for GB Railfreight – which has been owned by transport company FirstGroup since 2003 – comes as the company looks to improve rail freight volumes through the Channel Tunnel which suffered during the recession.
GB Railfreight is the second major UK player in the sector to change hands in recent years after German Deutsche Bahn bought competitor EWS in 2007. Eurotunnel Chairman Jacques Gounon said the deal was “a further expression of our commitment to the UK”. “Growing concerns about the environment and the increasing need for freight transport over both long and short distances mean that rail freight is a growing market,” he added.