NORTH Yorkshire power station Drax has unveiled the first of its rebranded train wagons with help from Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry.

Since it upgraded half of the power station near Selby to use sustainable biomass instead of coal, Drax has transformed its business to become Europe’s biggest decarbonisation project and the UK’s largest single site renewable power generator.

Key to its success is its supply chain – including the development of bespoke train wagons able to transport compressed wood pellets in the quantities needed to the power station.

Drax’s rail wagons, the first of their kind in the world, were designed and developed by Lloyd’s Register Rail (Ricardo) and WH Davis – the UK’s last independent freight wagon manufacturer.

Work is now being carried out at Davis Wagon Services’ facilities, a subsidiary of WH Davis, o re-brand all 225 of Drax’s rail wagons, complete with new Northern Powerhouse branding.

Drax is a member of the government’s Northern Powerhouse initiative, which is aimed at boosting the region’s economy by investing in skills, innovation and transport.

Jake Berry, Northern Powerhouse Minister, who visited Drax to unveil the first of the rebranded wagons, said: “The development of Drax’s train wagons is a Northern Powerhouse success story - I’m delighted to unveil the first of the newly branded wagons.

“The energy sector has been and will continue to be a major source of jobs and economic opportunity in the North of England. It is worth more than £5 billion to the North and the region has more low carbon jobs per 1,000 employees than anywhere else in England.”

Andy Koss, Drax Power chief executive, said: “With these trains delivering up to 20,000 tonnes of biomass each day, we are now powering millions of homes and businesses across the UK with reliable, renewable electricity, while generating more than £500 million for the northern economy and supporting more than 6,000 jobs in the region – including some here at Davis Wagon Services facilities.”