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AAE buys 300 four-axle 80-foot waggons

The AAE Group, one of the largest freight railcar leasing companies in Europe, and market leader for freightcars in intermodal transport, is investing in three hundred container waggons of a new type. The hirer of the waggons, which are lighter and less expensive than conventional goods waggons, but can transport more containers per train, is railway line operator Metrans a.s., a subsidiary of the port of Hamburg and Logistik AG (HHLA). Using the new waggons, the company wants to set up additional trains running primarily to and from the North Sea ports, but transporting continental freight loads as well. All three hundred waggons will be delivered in 2014.

„In the strongly growing hinterland traffic of the ports we can use the new waggons to transport three to four containers per train more than with conventional 80-foot waggons”, explains Jiri Samek, the managing director of the Metrans Group. “As the waggons are lighter and have a higher axle pressure on account of the large distance between the bogies, thus permitting a calmer ride, we reduce energy consumption. On occasion we can even do without double traction, thus saving a locomotive. All this in combination with the fact that we can load more flexibly makes these waggons extremely valuable for us.” The freight cars, which Metrans has developed together with the manufacturer Tatravagonka Poprad, can be used for maritime containers as well as for continental intermodal units.

This is made possible by a new construction: four instead of six axles as well as one  continuous loading surface. Classic 80-foot waggons have three bogies and six  axles, and the loading surface is divided in the middle over the central bogie. For  this reason these waggons cannot transport either 45-foot containers or  combinations of three 7.8 metre swap containers or two 30-foot and one 20-foot  container. The new construction combines the previously separate loading areas  and the space in-between is no longer necessary, the waggons are shorter but offer  the same loading length. The omission of the middle bogie with its two axles  reduces the production and maintenance costs, and saves almost six and a half  tonnes of weight (see additional box for dimensions and weights).
 „During the last two years, Metrans has already bought 250 waggons of this type  and has had good experience with them”, Jiri Samek continues. “This is why we are  doubling our fleet with this waggon type. Apart from the co-operation with AAE we  are ordering three hundred additional units directly from Tatravagonka. On account
of the long-term lease of other waggons from AAE we are ensuring capacity at  variable costs in order to grow faster than the market in hinterland traffic as well.”

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