The system, which transforms a standard pocket wagon into a car transport wagon, is being used on the new route between Sommacampagna-Sona near Verona and the German North Rhine-Westphalian town of Rheine which started in September.
Iveco light commercial vehicles from Italy are currently being sent in two round trips to GVZ Rheine every week on this route, while Scania and Iveco trucks destined for Italy as well as new semi-trailers from various manufacturers are being transported to Sommacampagna-Sona. By using r2L, the same wagon equipment can be used. The system is a load carrier developed by Vegatrans and KTT (KässbohrerTransportTechnik), which is constructed with mobile and adjustable ramps and can be easily loaded into the standard T3000 pocket wagon at each rail terminal with a reach stacker or a terminal crane. A complete train with 16 double pocket wagons can transport 96 vans, 64 trucks or 32 semitrailers – even mixed loading variants are possible.
TX Logistics will handle the complete terminal-to-terminal service for Vegatrans, including fleet management and 24/7 monitoring via the European Control Centre. Problems in the logistical process are evaluated for the customer and solutions developed.
"With roadrailLink, we can transport 32 light commercial vehicles more per train than with conventional flat wagons", explains Franz Blum, Vegatrans managing director and associate. He sees another great advantage in the system’s universal applicability: "For the first time, this enables us to combine inbound and outbound traffic in rail vehicle logistics to make it even more efficient." However, roadrailLink does not only revolutionize the previously rather static transport of vehicles by rail. "The mixed cargo makes flexible design possible. You are not tied to a vehicle type, but can easily change within a train arrangement. This opens up completely new possibilities for combining train systems", says Berit Börke, Chief Sales Officer (CSO) of TX Logistik AG.
A total of 64 r2L load carriers are currently in use, including another line between Wörth am Rhein and Fernetti (near Trieste). "We continue to technically develop the system. The next series of an additional 32 units is already under construction", says Franz Blum. It is also planned to enable rail transport for other types of vehicles – for example, rubber-tired agricultural and construction machinery, but even buses are conceivable. Last but not least, the adapter concept is an interesting option for the transfer of heavy electric vehicles.
"We see solutions in connection with the adapter system on many routes", predicts Berit Börke. For this purpose, further new rail projects are being developed together with the customer Vegatrans. Franz Blum: "We are planning the next transports between Italy and Poland as well as between Austria and Benelux."