About WH Malcolm

WH Malcolm (WHM), based in Linwood near Glasgow, is a family-owned business currently led by the third generation of the Malcolm family. It was born in the 1920s as a local haulier, delivering coal from local railway stations. Since then, it’s grown to become one of the leading logistics operators in the UK, adding warehousing, construction and rail logistics to its main haulage business. 

The Malcolm Rail business started in 2001 to support the movement of Scottish-produced drinks, glass and manufactured goods to the rest of the UK. Today, Malcolm contracts 24 intermodal trains each week to move over 30,000 containers of time-sensitive freight between England and Scotland, serving high street retailers and blue-chip companies. Malcolm also oversees the movement and handling of over 6,500 intermodal trains per year at its terminal operation at DIRFT (Daventry, off WCML), working with multiple FOCs, Network Rail and other rail companies to coordinate rail movements for efficient freight movements by rail.

What do you get out of RSSB membership?

WH Malcolm prides itself on being a family owned, professional business, supporting our workforce and customers across multiple sectors. As a company we like to lead by example, often at our own cost, to ensure we remain at the forefront of innovation in our sector. We have professional memberships in all aspects of our wider business including warehousing, construction and road haulage. Within rail, we have been an active member of the Rail Freight Group for over 10 years, and in 2017 we took the decision to apply for RSSB membership. This isn't the first time we had looked at joining the 'RSSB club'; but a few years ago it didn't appear to be a very easy club to become part of. We can safely say this now appears to be changing, and we will recommend joining to anyone in a similar position. 

We believe the operators and owners of facilities connected to the railway should seriously consider becoming an associate member of RSSB. Unlike mainline duty holders, organisations holding a licence exemption for mainline connected infrastructure are not required to be RSSB members. It is therefore up to individual organisations to decide whether to join. Some benefits could be realised by other means, such as FOC relationships. Whilst you can access the rulebook as a non-member, this is only a part of the full industry guidance and information to which RSSB members have access. 

Our company ethos is all about building professional relationships and delivering practical solutions. Common standards and safety systems need both professional and practical elements to be successful, so our organisations are already somewhat aligned. RSSB is starting to recognise that there are a large number of privately owned off-network locations connected to the mainline, which already contribute to the continued safe operation of the UK rail network on a daily basis. In gaining access to RSSB’s resources, these organisations could bring new knowledge and focus to their operations; and improve the input to these resources, making the railway ever safer. 

We officially joined RSSB in February 2018. We intend to be actively involved in all relevant areas of RSSB’s work, including freight operations and common railway standards. Before joining RSSB, we didn’t have access to many industry discussions which perhaps we should. The first month of membership has already been very enlightening, and we hope in future to offer an insight from our own experience of operating an open access intermodal freight terminal. We look forward to seeing the tangible benefits we can achieve together.

David Turner, Director of Rail, WH Malcolm