Direct Rail Services

Direct Rail Services (DRS) is a rail freight company in Great Breetain. It wis creatit in 1994 bi British Nuclear Fuels Ltd tae tak oer British Rail's handlin o nuclear material, an in 2005 it wis transferred tae the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. It haes syne diversified in tae ither freight operations an providin haulage for passenger services. DRS is ane o anly twa remainin publicly-awned railwey companies in the Unitit Kinrick, the ither bein NI Railways, the passenger rail operator in Northren Ireland.

A nuclear waste train, the oreeginal an continuin core service o DRS



The haulage o nuclear flask traffeck haed been handled bi British Rail until British Nuclear Fuels Ltd decidit tae bring this operation in hoose in 1994.[1] Up until 1998, it haed anly moved nuclear fuel rods frae overseas for processing at Sellafield. It then teuk ower the movement o rods frae UK nuclear pouer stations at Heysham, Valley (for Wylfa), Bridgwater (for Hinkley Point), Berkeley (for Oldbury), Hunterston, Torness, Seaton Carew, Dungeness an Sizewell.[2]

It first diversified in tae ither traffeck in 1997 when it stairtit operatin milk traffeck frae Penrith tae Cricklewood.[3][4] In 2002, it commenced running intermodal trains frae Grangemooth tae the Daventry Internaitional Rail Freight Terminal uisin Cless 66/4 locomotives. It cairies containers for baith the Malcolm Group an Asda.

Awnership o DRS wis transferred frae BNFL tae the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority when the NDA wis creatit on 1 Apryle 2005, unner the terms o the Energy Act 2004.

In 2006 DRS stairtit a new service, the Tesco Express, on behalf o Eddie Stobart in partnership wi Tesco, the UK's lairgest fuid retailer, tae muive containers frae Daventry north tae Mossend an Innerness usin a new dedicated law-emission Cless 66 locomotive in Eddie Stobart livery, 66411 Eddie the Engine. A daily service frae Grangemooth tae Innerness followed in 2009, wi anither Cless 66 in a promotional livery, this time 66414 James the Engine. The Daventry – Scotland Stobart contract transferred tae DB Schenker in Januar 2010, alang wi the onward daily service tae Innerness, tho this reverted tae DRS operation in simmer 2011.[5][6]


  1. "RFS 20s in main line deal" Rail Magazine issue 238 26 October 1994 page 9
  2. "DRS take over nuclear traffic" Rail Express issue 29 October 1998 page 6
  3. "Britain's first piggyback milk train starts running" Rail issue 308 2 July 1997 page 7
  4. "DRS wins milk traffic haulage contract" Rail Express issue 15 August 1997 page 6
  5. "Blow for DRS as DBS wins Stobart contract" The Railway Magazine issue 1302 October 2009 page 8
  6. "DRS wins back Tesco train" The Railway Magazine issue 1341 January 2013 page 86