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VTG UK Rail – changing the economics of container haulage

Leading wagon hire and rail logistics company shows benefits of its innovative Ecofret wagons.

VTG’s state-of-the-art container wagon, the Ecofret, was put through its paces at a demonstration on Friday 23 November 2012 at the Roadways Logistics’ terminal at Tamworth.

Customers, potential customers, industry stakeholders and the media saw how the VTG Ecofret, which was launched at the Multimodal exhibition at the Birmingham NEC in May, could be of benefit, economically and environmentally.

The Ecofret can carry 9ft 6in high, 40ft and 20ft boxes on W10 gauge cleared routes. It provides an economical and environmentally-friendly alternative to other container wagons because it maximises the number of boxes that can be carried within a given train length.

Thanks also to a newly-designed 840mm wheel diameter bogie, it also offers track friendly ride performance, which helps reduce track access charges.

Rob Brook, managing director of VTG Rail UK, said: "This wagon will make a significant difference to the economics of moving containers around Britain by rail. We have now successfully launched it into revenue earning traffic and are talking to other potential users about further builds."

Ecofrets consist of a twin set of 40ft deck length wagons designed to maximise the number of 40ft containers that can be hauled per train without empty running or 20ft wasted spaces.

The versatile wagons can be arranged in either twin or triple platform configurations and, by mixing 11 triples and 2 twin platforms, it is possible to carry 37 x 40ft boxes (74 TEU) in an 80 SLU, 512 metre long train.

This is a 32% improvement over a train of Megafrets which would only carry 28 x 40ft boxes (56 TEU) in the same train length. The Ecofret also eliminates the empty 20ft slots on FEA 60ft flats caused by the imbalance of 20ft to 40ft boxes.

The Ecofret’s bogies are "semi-steering", giving a predicted 60% reduction in wheel wear compared to a "conventional" bogie allowing a potential 110,000 plus miles between wheel turns to be achieved.

Brook added: "I am delighted and proud to be showing our guests how innovative VTG can be. The Ecofret follows the production of the first biomass wagons and, in another first for the industry, we are developing the ability to carry 100 per cent bio fuels in our tank wagon fleet.

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