The first train using Freightliner Heavy Haul’s Fully Enclosed Covered Autoflats has operated consisting of six Covered Autoflats and four TAL wagons, carrying products manufactured by Toyota, Lexus, Mitsubishi and Fiat. The service arrived without any of the vehicles receiving damage.
Freightliner Heavy Haul ran the service for automotive logistics company Walon, part of the Autologic Group. The company also operates trains from Southampton to Speke and Mossend for Ansa, also part of Autologic.
The Covered Autoflat was created and developed by Freightliner Heavy Haul to bring more automotive traffic to the UK’s rail network. Existing wagons were proving increasingly difficult to adjust to the modern product which had became higher, wider and longer in response to consumer request.
Since it was unveiled at Freightliner Heavy Haul’s site in Dagenham in December 2002, trials of the wagon have emphasised the case of loading and unloading vehicles, the extra protection it provides from stone chips and lineside vandals as well as it cost-effectiveness.