VTG Rail’s Ecofret2® rolls into service

Key milestone reached for VTG Rail UK as GB Railfreight takes delivery of its first Ecofret2® triple-wagon sets.

VTG Rail UK (VTG) was delighted to join GB Railfreight (GBRf) in welcoming the delivery of its first operational Ecofret2® triple-container flat wagon sets, which will be used to support the operator's growing demand for intermodal services.

On 8 April, the VTG Rail team visited GBRf's new £3m Peterborough facility to formally welcome their arrival and inspect the enhanced platforms before they go into operation. The event was the culmination of a considerable amount of work and was a key moment for VTG Rail, delivering on a longstanding and multi-million-pound partnership.

Following successful prototype testing and approvals, the wagons are the first of 252, in the form of 84 triple-wagon sets, that will be delivered throughout 2021 and will soon be busy running intermodal goods to and from ports across the country.

A green innovation that also comes in blue.

The Ecofret2® is the latest innovation in maritime container transport and a revolutionary addition to VTG Rail's fleet. With enhanced design features over the existing Ecofret, it now includes a brand new, track-friendly TF20 bogie and braking system with enhanced dynamic ride performance and additional mounting points for increased loading flexibility. The original Ecofret was a game-changer in encouraging modal shift and the new design goes even further to maximise the benefits for freight operating companies.

The key benefits of the Ecofret2® wagons are that they avoid the need for empty spaces, which are so often seen on trains made up of 60ft deck length container flats carrying a single 40ft box. These empty spaces are wasteful and create considerable turbulence when running at 75mph, which increases drag and fuel consumption. Ecofret2® platforms are fitted with a new bogie incorporating rubber suspension components and hydraulic damping, giving an improved dynamic ride. They also feature additional container mounting points on the outer platforms, meaning that either two 20ft or one 40ft box can be carried on all platforms giving maximum loading flexibility to customers.