To be delivered in 2014, the wagons will be used by rail operator Metrans, a subsidiary of Port of Hamburg and Logistik AG (HHLA), which wants to set up additional trains running primarily to and from the North Sea ports, while also transporting continental freight loads as well.
“In the strongly growing hinterland traffic of the ports we can use the new wagons to transport three to four containers per train more than with conventional 80-foot wagons”, explained Jiri Samek, managing director of the Metrans Group.
The wagons are lighter and have a higher axle weight on account of the distance between the bogies for a smoother ride, thereby reducing energy consumption. In the right conditions, they can run without double traction, thus saving a locomotive.
Developed by Metrans, together with the manufacturer Tatravagonka Poprad, the units, which are shorter but offer the same load length of conventional wagons, can carry maritime containers and/or continental intermodal units. This has been possible by using four instead of six axles, as well as one continuous loading surface.
Classic 80-foot wagons, with three bogies and six axles, as well as a loading surface that is divided over the central bogie, cannot transport either 45-foot containers or combinations of three 7.8 m swap containers or two 30-foot and one 20-foot container.
During the last two years, Metrans has bought 250 wagons of this type and is now doubling its fleet with the new units. “Apart from the co-operation with AAE we are ordering 300 additional units directly from Tatravagonka,” said Samek, who added that the leased units will ensure capacity for growth in hinterland traffic as well.