In the years following privatisation, a number of different companies providing freight haulage services sprang
up on the Other Railway. The Fat Controller would find him dealing with a number
of different companies when shifting goods out of and onto Sodor’s rail network, and over time, he began to wonder about
the practicality of running similar freight services, dedicated to providing services for Sodor on the mainland network.
In 2004, he began trials for what would eventually become NW Freight by hiring in two Class 66 Diesel locomotives
from EWS. Dick and Dilworth stayed on the island at different times throughout
that period, and were returned at the end of their leases, but had left a very positive impression on the Fat Controller and
the crews of the North Western Railway. Negotiations began with EWS to hire the
two locomotives on a long-term basis, and in 2006, NW Freight was announced as a subsidiary venture of the North Western Railway.
The company officially launched in January of 2007 with a special shareholder’s train, hauled by Dick
along the Main Line. NW Freight took responsibility for the transportation of
all goods on the Sodor Main Line, and took over all contracts for Sodor-related services on the Mainland, including the transportation
of all traffic from Sodor’s many ports and Harbours, distribution of SodOil Fuels and deliveries of coal for the steam
Whilst a great deal of Dick and Dilworth’s work involves running on the Mainland, they were assisted with
services on Sodor by Samarkland on the Main Line, Donald and Douglas on the Branch lines.
The initial plan was to base these two engines at Barrow on the Mainland, but with deliveries from Tidmouth also a requirement,
this was scrapped and the NW Freight division is based at Tidmouth, with offices at Barrow.
By 2008, demand for the services of NW Freight had grown, and the Fat
Controller already had plans on which locomotives he would be purchasing to develop the business. He purchased three Class 60 Diesels, Procor (D16), Spartan (D17) and Wakefield (D18) and brought them to
the railway in the early part of 2009.
In 2009, NW Freight merged with road transport haulier, Sodor Island Logistics, and now works hand-in-hand with
smaller transport firms to help shift goods to and from the Island of Sodor.