DCRail wagons, box fresh from VTG

DCRail takes delivery of box wagons from VTG

VTG Rail UK has agreed to supply the Cappagh Group of Companies with 100 new box wagons for the movement of construction materials. DCRail, the Cappagh Group’s rail freight operating company, is already using the first batch of wagons to convey recycled aggregates.

The new wagons have been designed specifically to optimise the movement of aggregates and construction spoil, with a design that maximises durability with a minimum tare weight. The design allows more material to be carried by each train and further improves the environmental performance of rail transport. Design features in the new wagons include a high impact floor that will reduce the risk of unloading damage and an integrated compact bogie braking system that minimises maintenance down time.

Wembley terminal

The wagons are intended for DCRail customers, including those that will use a new freight hub being developed near Wembley in North London, which can handle trains conveying over 2200 tonnes of material. The use of rail will reduce the environmental impact of construction supply chains with each train carrying the equivalent of 110 lorry loads.

DCRail VTG box wagon empties at Ais Gill on the Carlisle and Settle line / Paul Hadfield

“We are delighted to be working on this project and look forward to seeing all the new wagons in operation”, said. Ian Shaw, sales and marketing director at VTG Rail UK. “The construction sector is seeing significant activity right now and we anticipate 2020 to be a positive year for rail freight as more companies look to shift material away from the roads and onto rail”.

Operational review

The company is expanding operations rapidly. Overnight, DCRail ran a heavy flow of recycled aggregates over the Carlisle and Settle route, to Boston in Lincolnshire. David Fletcher, the director for rail of the parent Cappagh Group, said it was their first 1800 tonne payload. “A review of operational methods with Network Rail has allowed an additional seven wagons to be added to the service over the last two weeks”, he said.

David Fletcher of DCRail is keen to grow the business

The new ruling stock from VTG is optimised for the construction sector and are fitted with integrated brakes and track-friendly bogies. “This means there is no vulnerable, and often less efficient, frame-mounted brake cylinders or rigging”, said Shaw. “This also helps us to implement our ‘bogie exchange’ maintenance regime which, using our float of spare bogies, minimises wagon downtime and maximises availability for our customers”.

Developments to come

“This is a hugely exciting time for DCRail”, said Fletcher. “In 2020 we will complete the delivery of our fleet of Class 60 locomotives and construction work at the new North London freight hub is now underway. The Cappagh aquamarine blue livery is being seen across the country and we are very pleased with the support provided by VTG on this project. The innovations in wagon design and expected high availability will allow DCRail to meet the demand for efficient rail solutions for the construction industry. Since the introduction of the first batch of wagons payload on DCRail services has already been increased by 15% and we look forward to further increasing the amount of freight moved by rail”.

Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

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