Twenty Year Club – the jouney so far…

VTG Rail UK has enjoyed a fantastic journey so far with three of our team, Sales and Marketing Director Ian Shaw, Dry Lease Co-ordinator Paul Lugg and Service Delivery Manager Maria Connolly having been with the company from day one.

Ian said: “The growth we’ve achieved over the last 20 years has been a real highlight in my career. Our turnover has grown five-fold over that period, and we have welcomed many new customers, whether from scratch, such as BA, Cappagh and SCS or via sale and leaseback to the likes of Tata and Tarmac or by the acquisition of AAE and Nacco.”

Ian’s VTG career started in 2001 with the company he joined, CAIB, already about to be sold by Brambles to VTG. He said: “The fleet has grown from around 2000 wagons with under 85% utilisation to 4500 wagons with over 95% utilisation. The rail freight industry has developed in the last 20 years, for example with the introduction of FOCs such as GBRf who we have worked alongside and helped to develop. Of course, the coal market died but construction and intermodal are booming which shows the resilience of this industry in being able to be agile and adapt for new sectors.”

Ian added: “VTG Connect is a very exciting introduction to the market, along with other digital monitoring, to make our fleet and maintenance smarter and more efficient for our customers. We will also keep striving to even further improve our reliability and availability of wagons, cementing VTG’s position as the number one in our sector.”

Over the years VTG Rail UK has had three different HQs in the West Midlands – Worcester, Quinton and Rubery – and will move to its fourth site in Bromsgrove in early 2023.

With an illustrious career of 46 years Paul, aged 72, recently changed his working hours to two days a week.

When asked about the highlights of his career with VTG so far, he said: “I think the thing I got the most kick out of was getting the order with BA for 42 brand new wagons in 2017. We were competing against all the other wagon hirers and it was a great feeling of triumph and testament to the professionalism and expertise of our team when we won that contract.”

Maria said: “The biggest highlight of my career so far was back in 2014 when I became VTG’s Service Delivery Manager.  With my team of three fleet controllers, it was our job to be focused on maximising wagon availability and making sure we deliver for the customer at every level. Eight years on our promise and commitment is still the same and with an ever-growing fleet we are now a team of seven and I couldn’t be prouder of their continued dedication to deliver the unrivalled service VTG prides ourselves on.  Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without the support of the wider team and working with such a highly motivated professional team definitely has to be the second biggest highlight.”

Maria added: “I have seen a lot of changes in the rail industry over the years, including an increase in women joining the sector. With the continued investment and focus on diversity, I truly believe it is a very exciting time for women to be involved in rail.”