LAST month the first part of a £50 million order for 845 state-of-the-art coal wagons was handed over to English Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS) at Thrall Works in York. Part of EWS's fleet-modernization programme, the order is the largest for one specific type of railway wagon since 1976.
Capable of carrying 75 tonnes while being hauled at a top speed of 75mph, the new wagons are less than 18m long, weigh 102 tonnes when fully loaded and have a 100% greater carrying capacity than existing coal wagons.
Forming one instalment of an agreed deal with manufacturers Thrall Europe for 2,500 wagons of different types, the first deliveries will begin this month, starting at a rate of 10 wagons a week, with the first expected to go into service on coal trains from Scotland. As further deliveries take place the wagons will be put to use on EWS coal trains across the UK.