UK: Following prototype testing and approval, GB Railfreight has taken delivery of the first of 84 Ecofret2 close-coupled triple-wagon sets which it described as the ‘latest innovation in maritime container transport’ and ‘a revolutionary addition’ to its fleet.
The wagons were ordered in two batches through leasing company VTG Rail and are being built by WH Davis at its Shirebrook site, with deliveries scheduled to continue through the rest of the year.
Enhancements from the previous Ecofret design, launched in the UK in 2012, include a new track-friendly TF20 bogie incorporating rubber suspension components and hydraulic damping to give an improved dynamic ride. There are additional container mounting points on the outer platforms, meaning that either two 20 ft or one 40 ft box can be carried on all platforms. This avoids the empty spaces which increase drag and fuel consumption if a single 40 ft container is carried on a 60 ft wagon.
‘The Ecofret2 represents a step-change in efficiency and design for intermodal rail freight and we are delighted with the end result’, said Colin Denman, Managing Director, VTG Rail. ‘For freight operators, the enhanced wagon design enables further cost savings when moving the larger 40 ft container units, which can be passed on to deep-sea container customers, encouraging more companies to put their goods onto the railways.
‘As with all new VTG Rail wagons Ecofret2 will be fitted with our Connect telematics system, allowing users to subscribe to a range of GPS-based tracking and monitoring services.’