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Freightliner first in the UK to build box wagons out of recycled coal hoppers

This is an impressive creative story of how Freightliner became the first UK rail operator to build European Standards compliant new box wagons from a significant proportion of recycled materials, something which had not been attempted before in the UK. It has built and placed into use anew fleet of wagons made using parts from redundant coal hoppers for its new contract with Tarmac, a major building materials and construction solutions provider.

It show-cases good practice and collaborative partnership working to deliver a sustainable solutionin a short space of time.

Freightliner first in the UK to build box wagons out of recycled coal hoppersFreightliner was awarded a contract by Tarmac,for transporting lime, chemical stone, aggregates and cement products produced out of its Tunstead site which included the provision of a fleet of modern high capacity box wagons. As Freightliner Heavy Haul had no box wagons in operation and there were no suitable wagons available in the UK market, they decided to investigate adapting its perfectly serviceable but redundant HHA coal wagons with Greenbrier Europe who had provided Freightliner with the majority of its new wagons in the past.

Freightliner and Greenbrier established together thatwith some modifications, the bogies (framework carrying wheels attached to the wagon) and some of the braking equipment from the hoppers would be compatible with an existing design of box wagons that Greenbrier had previously produced. Both companies worked together on the bogie modifications which were then checked and certified by SNC Lavalin, as notified body.

The other key element in the story was ensuring that the recycled wagons would be compliant with railway regulations which is no mean undertaking. The hurdle was to gain authority from the Railway Interoperability Regulations (RIR) and the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) to use these wagons on the UK rail network.Freightliner contracted with SNC Lavalin as Certification Body/experts and immediately approached the ORR to discuss how best to navigate the various standards and build the agreed authorisation strategy. Throughout the whole complex and, at times, demanding process, Freightliner engaged fully with the ORR, to ensure that UK and European safety standards and legal requirements were  fully complied with, as with any new wagon build.

The end result 23 brand new MWA (102 tonne) open box wagons.

This is a perfect example of waste not want not as a result of a creative solution which is a great sustainable cost efficient approach taken by Freightliner where bogies and brake components were recycled that otherwise would have stood unused and deteriorating, reducing waste and saving energy.


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