An idea which the RDS freight committee promoted as far back as 10 years ago has at last come to commercial fruition.
The Essex-based company Containerlift has now delivered 10 of the above vehicles which it says is the most cost-effective and efficient delivery and retrieval system in Britain.
One of its purposes is to allow safe stuffing of containers at ground level but the company also realises that the vehicle has potential for loading trains where there are no depot facilities.
On little-used lines, freight trains are already being unloaded on running line without sidings. This vehicle should increase the number of locations where rail freight can operate. It could help to make rail freight more competitive because it eliminates the need for ramps or loading bays at stations.
The idea was first used in New Zealand but was brought to Britain by Doug Baker who set up Containerlift in 1992.
"Its ability to lift on to rail has positive environmental implications for opening up the rail system to smaller railheads," he said. It can handle all sizes of containers up to 45 ft, as well as pairs of containers and tanks.
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