GB Railfreight and VTG Rail UK signed a lease contract for 52 additional Ecofret2 intermodal wagons, strengthening operator’s commitment to invest in the future of the intermodal rail freight sector.
All the new wagons will be manufactured in the United Kingdom, with operations and maintenance being managed by VTG in Birmingham and Peterborough.
Ecofret intermodal wagons allow for more containers to be carried per train, leading to greater load efficiency, and reducing transport delays. The wagons also help to improve the spacing of containers reducing turbulence when trains are traveling at speed and reducing fuel consumption.
Compared to the original Ecofret wagons, the new version has an improved loading flexibility and track friendly bogie design bringing high efficiency benefits. This will help GBRf to meet the growing demands of the intermodal market.
“VTG has made further significant investments in the Ecofret design ensuring that the new Ecofret2 wagon will bring even greater in-service benefits than its ground-breaking predecessor,” said Rob Brook, Head of Rail UK for the VTG Group.
The investment in these new and modern British built wagons to be supplied by VTG, will help GBRf meet growing customer needs, employing the latest technology and further improving safety performance and reliability.
Recently, GB Railfreight announced the leasing of 32 Ecofret2 triple wagon sets from VTG which will enter service in 2020 and 2021.
The partnership between the two companies will allow GBRf to focus on the growth of the intermodal market, which blossomed in 2019 following the opening of new services from Solent Stevedores, Southampton, to Maritimes Terminal in Trafford, Manchester.
“Adding more Ecofrets to our fleet is part of our continued growth plan. As a business, our goal is to offer the best possible service to our customers and we are investing heavily in the wagons which will enable us to expand our operations, whilst also providing the extra freight capacity the industry really needs,” John Smith, Managing Director of GBRf said.
Increasing the proportion of goods carried by rail has an important role to play in helping the UK to deliver on its decarbonisation agenda and rail freight will therefore play an important role in supporting a green recovery. The share of goods transported via rail freight has increased in recent years due to savings in harmful emissions from moving goods via rail rather than road.