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How A New Wagon Expands Rail Freight Capacity

A new wagon design from Freight Arranger is increasing both the size of containers which can be carried on intermodal trains in Great Britain and also the routes on which they can be run. This enables rail services to better match the needs of customers and serve the desired origins and destinations more closely.

The W Wagon can carry a 40′ pallet-wide (2500 mm wide) container which allows 24 pallets to be carried in a single layer. This is an improvement on a 40′ ISO container which can only carry 21 standard pallets in single layer, and which compares unfavourably with the 26 standard pallets which can be carried in an articulated HGV trailer. The W Wagon is therefore carrying containers with 14% more pallets than could be loaded in a standard ISO container.

Rail Freight

Picture: Network Rail container loading gauges

Moreover, as the W Wagon has a deck height of only 466mm, that pallet-wide container can be a high cube (9’6″ high) and still be carried in the W6 railway loading gauge. As W6 is the smallest loading gauge in Britain, that means such a container can be run anywhere. So wherever there is a railway line between Truro, Tunbridge Wells and Thurso, we can run your freight train carrying the often-preferred 9’6″ height containers.

When the increased width and height capabilities are combined, and trains run on railway lines which have been gauge-cleared to W10 (the gauge which allows 9′ 6″ high containers to be carried on standard-height wagons), then the W Wagon can carry a container which is no less than 11′ 3″ high. Such containers have an internal loading height of 10′ 7″ (3,230 mm) – in the range achieved by HGV trailers – and allow a double layer of pallets to be carried, or 48 in total. This can be very useful for lighter commodities such as garments or crisps.

The W Wagon can also carry 45′ pallet-wide 9′ 6″ high containers in British loading gauge W8, a common intermediate gauge, and higher gauges, giving access to approximately half the rail network in Britain.

“The additional load carrying capability of the W Wagon is a major contribution to expanding the cubic volume of loads and hence the total amount of traffic which can be addressed economically by rail freight,” said Nick Radcliffe, Managing Director of Freight Arranger.

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