Babcock Rail is developing a rail wagon to carry containers in an attempt to break into the freight market. It hopes to unveil the design within three weeks.
The move follows Babcock Rail’s disappointment at not securing a manufacturing contract following a prototype Eurospine piggyback freight wagon developed a year ago with Thrall Europa. The latter decided to open a freight wagon plant at the former ABB plant in York to build conventional wagons instead.
Last July freight operator EWS put in a five-year 2,500 freight wagon order from the new plant, creating 300 jobs. Babcock Rail’s completely new concept wagon is ‘for a different customer and is still in the development stage,’ the company said.
It is understood that each wagon will carry one standard ISO 2.89m high container and has a low 16 tonne weight. The wagon will be able to work with existing terminals. ‘At the moment it’s a drawing board concept, but it’s got a couple of interesting ideas and they have got interested customers,’ a rail freight source said.
The company, located at the Babcock-owned Rosyth dockyard, is repainting trains used on the London to Edinburgh line.