VTG Rail UK's pioneering cement wagons celebrate first birthday
The UK's very first aluminium bogie cement wagons have celebrated their first year of service this month, having moved more than 150,000 tonnes of cement in the 12-month period from April 2008 – 2009 for Hanson Cement, which changed its name from Castle Cement in March to reflect its position as a division of Hanson UK.
The wagons were introduced to Britain by VTG Rail UK, a subsidiary of VTG Aktiengesellschaft (SCN: VTG999), Europe's leading wagon hire and rail logistics company. VTG Rail UK's ten year contract with Hanson marked the return to rail transportation for the cement provider from its Ribblesdale plant, and in the twelve months since they entered service the wagons have already saved the equivalent of around 5,000 lorry journeys
Running three times a week from Hanson's production unit near Clitheroe in Lancashire, to its storage and distribution centre at the Mossend Railhead near Glasgow, the cement trains carry an average of 1,040 tonnes compared to just 29 tonnes per lorry. With every tonne of freight carried by rail producing at least 80% less carbon dioxide than by road this also represents considerable savings in terms of the amount of C02 released into the atmosphere.
Rob Brook VTG Rail UK's Managing Director said: “Hanson wanted a more environmentally friendly way of transporting cement to Scotland. The wagons we provided, with their innovative aluminium body construction to minimise tare weight and high performance pressure discharge system are able to carry far greater volumes, more efficiently, than their road counterparts. We are very pleased that the wagons have made such a big contribution to reducing road traffic and look forward to the good work continuing in the years to come.”
Hanson Cement's Managing Director Jon Morrish said: “As the UK's leading supplier of heavy construction materials we move over 3 million tonnes of aggregates and cement by rail every year. We have been very pleased with the performance of these wagons.”
VTG Aktiengesellschaft is one of Europe's leading wagon hire and rail logistics companies. The company has the largest private wagon fleet in Europe. Globally the fleet consists of about 49,600 rail freight cars with a focus on tank cars and state of the art high capacity freight cars and flat cars. In addition to the hiring of wagons, the Group offers global tank container transport and comprehensive multi-modal logistics services mainly around rail transport.
With the combination of its three interrelated divisions Wagon Hire, Rail Logistics and Tank Container Logistics VTG offers its clients a high-performance platform for international transport of their freight. The Group has many years of experience and specific know-how in particular in the transport of liquid and sensitive goods. Its customers include numerous well-known companies from almost all industrial sectors such as, for example, chemicals, mineral oil, the automobile or paper industries.
In the financial year 2007 VTG generated operating revenues of EUR 541.3 million and an operating result (EBITDA) of EUR 137.0 million. The preliminary, still unconfirmed figures for 2008 are sales of EUR 608.7 million and operating profit (EBITDA) of EUR 156.4 million. Via its subsidiaries and affiliates the company, which has its head office in Hamburg, is mainly present in Europe, Asia and North America. As at 31 December 2008 VTG employed 1,004 employees worldwide in consolidated companies. Since June 2007 VTG AG has been listed on the official Prime Standard market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange – since September 2008 also on the SDAX (SCN: VTG999).