Latest Rail News

09.05.14

GB Railfreight invests in innovative Ecofret wagons

GB Railfreight (GBRf) has secured a five-year lease with VTG Rail UK Ltd for 18 of its new Ecofret triple-platform wagons. 

But John Smith, managing director of GBRf, said that the government must do more to support the changing freight industry if the UK is to capitalise on it.

The VTG triple-platform wagons are designed to maximise the number of 40ft boxes that can be carried within a given train length, with the outer platforms being able to carry one 40ft container each, and the inner platform being able to carry either one 40ft container or two 20ft containers. 

Smith added: “VTG has really revolutionised container transportation with this new model and it will allow us and the rest of the rail freight industry to provide greater and more efficient services for our customers. 

“The growing dominance of 40ft containers in the deep-sea market, infrastructure improvements at the Port of Felixstowe and changing train length regulations all mean that freight transportation demand is changing in the UK. We want to make sure we adapt to this changing environment and improve our productivity.” 

The lease order follows a successful 18-month trial by GBRf of one of VTG’s Ecofret triple-platform wagons. Delivery for the other 17 triple wagon sets will commence from the beginning of November 2014 with the first 12 being delivered across a six week period at a rate of two per week. The last five units will commence delivery from January 2015 onwards. 

GBRf believes the addition of these wagons to its current fleet is an important development for the company, and it allows GBRf to once again respond to its clients' demands. The wagons are constructed on track-friendly bogies, which further cements the freight operator’s support for long-term sustainability of the UK’s rail network, it said. 

Rob Brook, managing director of VTG, said: “Ecofret has been recognised as having the potential to change the economics of the UK’s intermodal container rail freight market and is a prime example of the type of innovation needed if we, as an industry, are to meet the increasing demand predicted in this key sector whilst making the most efficient use of the network capacity available.” 

(Image by VTG)

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