Aggregate Industries and VTG Rail UK work to enhance rail business case with higher capacity wagons

VTG Rail UK is working with Aggregate Industries (AI) to supply 62 high-capacity HYA hopper wagons, deployed primarily in the East Midlands and North Kent. Servicing depots in London and Sheffield, they will operate in sets of 20 delivering 14% additional payload per train.

The HYA wagons are repurposed coal wagons and have been converted to an efficient aggregate wagon through shortening. The conversion was carried out in the UK workshops of WH Davis Ltd. The enhanced wagon fleet displaces a less efficient, lower capacity hopper wagon type and runs on track friendly TF25 bogies meaning reduced maintenance downtime as well as lower noise and track wear.

The wagons are constructed in corrosion resistant materials and are fitted with enhanced door seal arrangements, which accommodate the transport of marine sands in addition to other aggregate types. They are discharged via pneumatically operated doors utilising the locomotive air supply, which removes the need for mechanical devices or shoreside air supplies that the outgoing wagons required.

Leading construction materials supplier Aggregate Industries and VTG Rail have built up a long-established relationship. AI has some 200 sites and 3,700 staff across the UK. It is at the frontline of the construction and infrastructure industries, producing and supplying an array of construction materials including aggregate, asphalt, ready-mix concrete and precast concrete products. 

Simon Blake, General Manager - Midlands Rail, Aggregate Industries, said: “Aggregate Industries has a clear vision to play a significant role in the reduction of carbon emissions in the construction sector and rail will play a key role in helping us achieve those goals. AI's business plan is to decarbonise and sustainably source construction materials. Rail is central to many of AI's supply chains and is exhibiting annual growth. The repurposed wagons have transitioned into service over the course of 2020 and fit well within a strategically and diverse wagon fleet of owned, freight operator owned and lessor sourced.” 

Ian Shaw, VTG Rail UK’s Sales and Marketing Director, added: “We are delighted to continue our long-standing relationship with Aggregate Industries and help it to enhance the efficiency of its rail freight operation. With the ability to increase the payload carried in the same length of train by around 14%, the higher capacity wagons are perfect for increasing rail’s business case for companies in the construction sector who are looking to decarbonise their transport operations.”

AI’s parent company LafargeHolcim recently became the first construction materials company to sign the Net Zero Pledge, and it has recently launched concrete and asphalt solutions which can be specified to net-zero without compromising on quality.


For information on Aggregate Industries please contact Louis Peake, Corporate Communications Specialist, Aggregate Industries,