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UK wagon works to close

01 Aug 2002

ON JUNE 28 Trinity Rail GmbH, the European subsidiary of Trinity Industries of the USA, announced that it was proposing to close the former Thrall Europa wagon manufacturing plant in York. With a five-year contract for English Welsh & Scottish Railway nearing completion and 'no foreseeable further orders from any customers in the UK rail industry', according to Trinity Rail GmbH President Chris Schmalbruch, the factory is due to close in December this year with the loss of 260 jobs.

On the basis of an EWS investment programme that saw 2500 new wagons ordered at a cost of £200m, Thrall established its York facility in 1997 at a former passenger car plant closed by ABB Transportation. Wagon production for EWS has included steel coil carriers, box wagons, intermodal flats and most notably 1145 HTA bogie coal hoppers with a capacity of 100 tonnes and a maximum speed of 120 km/h.

Trinity intends to maintain a sales and marketing presence in the UK, as well as a spare parts business to provide full after-sales service for the EWS fleet. In addition to the lack of demand in the UK 'at levels to sustain this plant', Schmalbruch said that 'restrictions on the physical size of wagons for shipment from Britain' restricted York to domestic production.

EWS wagons built at York

HTA coal hoppers 1 145

FCA container flats 400

MBA box wagons 300

FKA container flats 300

BYA steel coil carriers 250

FAA container flats 100

BRA steel wagons 60