From standard pocket wagon to car transport wagon
Vegatrans and TX Logistik have developed a system that transforms a standard pocket wagon into a car transport wagon. It is called roadrailLink (r2L), designed to transport commercial vehicles per rail.
The system is used on the new railway route between Sommacampagna, near Verona in Italy and the German North Rhine- Westphalian town of Rheine. Iveco light commercial vehicles from Italy are sent in two round trips to Rheine every week, while Scania and Iveco trucks destined for Italy as well as new semi-trailers from various manufacturers are transported to Sommacampagna.
The system is a load carrier developed by Vegatrans and Kässbohrer Transport Technik (KTT). It includes mobile and adjustable ramps and can be easily loaded into the standard T3000 pocket wagon with a reach stacker or a terminal crane. A complete train with sixteen double pocket wagons can transport 96 vans, 64 trucks or 32 semitrailers – even mixed loading variants are possible.
“With roadrailLink, we can transport 32 light commercial vehicles more per train than with conventional flat wagons”, explained Franz Blum, Vegatrans managing director and associate. Moreover, the system is universal. “For the first time, this enables us to combine inbound and outbound traffic in rail vehicle logistics to make it even more efficient”, he pointed out.
TX Logistik will handle the complete terminal-to-terminal service for Vegatrans, including fleet management and 24/7 monitoring via the European Control Centre. Problems in the logistical process are evaluated for the customer and solutions developed.
RoadrailLink does not only revolutionise the previously rather static transport of vehicles by rail, the company said. “The mixed cargo makes flexible design possible. You are not tied to a vehicle type, but can easily change within a train arrangement. This opens up completely new possibilities for combining train systems”, explained Berit Börke, Chief Sales Officer (CSO) of TX Logistik AG.
A total of 64 r2L load carriers are currently in use, including another line between Wörth am Rhein and Fernetti (near Trieste). “We continue to technically develop the system. The next series of an additional 32 units is already under construction”, said Blum.
In the future, the system will become available to other types of vehicles – for example, rubber-tired agricultural and construction machinery, but even buses are conceivable. Moreover, the adapter concept is an interesting option for the transfer of heavy electric vehicles, the companies added. “We see solutions in connection with the adapter system on many routes”, predicts Börke. For this purpose, further new rail projects are being developed together with Vegatrans. Blum: “We are planning the next transports between Italy and Poland as well as between Austria and Benelux.”