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Train drivers top of wage league

PUBLISHED: 22:38 25 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:26 03 March 2010

TRAIN drivers employed by an Ipswich-based company are among the best paid in the industry according to new figures published today.

Drivers working for GB Railfreight - sister company to Anglia Railways - earn an average of £32,000 a year.

TRAIN drivers employed by an Ipswich-based company are among the best paid in the industry according to new figures published today.

Drivers working for GB Railfreight – sister company to Anglia Railways – earn an average of £32,000 a year.

The company is based at Ipswich, and operates freight services including engineering trains throughout East Anglia and freight trains from Felixstowe to Yorkshire.

The highest-earning drivers in the country are those driving the Eurostar trains from London to Paris and Brussels – but they have to operate trains in three countries at speeds of up to 186 miles an hour.

GB Railfreight are in joint second place with InterCity drivers in charge of Great North Eastern Railway trains from London to Scotland, Yorkshire, and the North East.

Anglia Railways and First Great Eastern drivers both earn an average of £26,000 a year. Drivers of Freightliner trains – including most container trains from Felixstowe docks – earn an average of £26,191 a year.

The figures have been supplied by the drivers' union ASLEF as part of the national debate on the pay of rail staff which has led to strikes in part of southern England, the north east of England, and in Scotland.

GB Railfreight's basic pay is high because it is a new company, and its staff agreed to flexible working hours as part of their basic agreement – overtime rates can boost earnings in some of the other companies.

The company is run from St. Clare House in Princes Street Ipswich.

Spokesman Jonathan Denby, said it had had no problems in recruiting drivers with the package it was able to offer them.

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