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Freightliner becomes first in the UK to build box wagons out of recycled coal hoppers

Freightliner becomes first in the UK to build box wagons out of recycled coal hoppers

Freightliner becomes the first UK rail operator to build European Standards compliant new box wagons from a significant proportion of recycled materials, as Freightliner Heavy Haul places into use a new fleet of wagons made using parts from redundant coal hoppers.

In support of a new a contract with Tarmac, the UK’s leading building materials and construction solutions provider, Freightliner needed to provide a fleet of modern, high capacity box wagons and decided to investigate the possibility of using recycled parts from HHA (102t) coal hoppers that had recently been made redundant by the national decline in coal usage.

With the help of Greenbrier Europe, Freightliner’s wagon provider of choice, it was determined that, with some modifications, the bogies (framework carrying wheels attached to the wagon) and some of the braking equipment from the hoppers would be compatible with an existing design of box wagons that Greenbrier had previously produced.

As a result, in November 2015, Freightliner Maintenance Ltd (FML) in York began the recovery and modification of the bogies which were then transported by Freightliner Road Services to Greenbrier Europe in Poland who completed the production of the wagons.

The first 23 brand new MWA (102t) open box wagons have now arrived in the UK, transported by Freightliner Poland.

Throughout the whole complex process Freightliner engaged fully with the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) to ensure that UK and European safety standards and legal requirements were met.

“This project has been a success thanks to the effective collaboration between Freightliner businesses: Heavy Haul, Maintenance, Road Services and Freightliner Poland. We would also like to thank our key suppliers Greenbrier and SNC Lavalin for their support with the project,” said Paul Smart, Managing Director, Freightliner Heavy Haul Limited.

Joerg Greshake – Sales & Marketing Director of Greenbrier Europe commented: ““The great working relationship we have with Freightliner meant that we could work together to find an innovative and sustainable box wagon solution that fully met the needs of both the customer and ORR standards.’’

Chris Swan, senior manager, rail and shipping at Tarmac, said: “Modern, efficient wagons have an important role to play as we drive freight expansion and increase the transportation of materials from production sites to construction markets. It’s good to see equipment and materials being repurposed, especially as this is a key part of Tarmac’s approach to sustainability and business.”

The creative approach taken by Freightliner meant that redundant assets were given new life in the form of recycled bogies and brake components that would have stood unused and deteriorating, reducing waste and saving energy.

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