UK: German rolling stock transfer and train testing specialist RailAdventure has announced its entry to the UK market, with an investment in Hanson & Hall Rail Services and the purchase of eight Class 43 power cars which it intends to form into twin-section locomotives.
Based at Neuhausen near München, RailAdventure specialises in the transfer and testing of rolling stock as well as charter train operations. It has been involved in the delivery of new rolling stock to the UK from continental European manufacturers, often working with GB Railfreight. Managing Director Alex Dworaczek said the company is now seeking a UK presence in order to serve local production plants, as ‘we always want to accompany the development of our customers’.
Hanson & Hall was formed three years ago to provide support services for the railway industry. It currently operates two heritage diesel locomotives: a Class 31 and a Class 50.
RailAdventure has acquired eight redundant HST power cars, including six that were formerly used by Grand Central. These had been fitted with buffers and drawgear for use on the East Coast Main Line in the late 1980s, and will now be converted to create three double locomotives; the other two are intended to act as spare parts donors. The locos are to be equipped with translator technology enabling them to control the electro-pneumatic brakes of multiple units being hauled, while existing Habfis adapter cars will also be transferred to the UK.
Intended as the ‘backbone’ of the company’s UK operations, the double-locomotives will be based at a location in the London area, with access to all major routes. They may also be deployed as traction units for the testing of new vehicles ‘on test rings in central Europe’.
According to Dworaczek, RailAventure seeks to maintain a ‘tried and tested strategy of absolute neutrality’ in its haulage contracts. ‘What we want to avoid is, for example, using a current product of a locomotive manufacturer to transport the prototype of another competing company.’