GB Railfreight has converted 49 coal wagons to move aggregates from Tarmac quarries.
It is one year into a five-year contract with Tarmac, hauling aggregates from Arcow and Swinden quarries.
The decline in the use of coal for power generation has been a challenge for rail freight operators, which have been looking for ways to make use of their coal equipment.
The re-purposed coal hoppers, also known as Vulcan wagons, have been converted by removing the middle section to make them an appropriate length for aggregate use while retaining their 102-tonne maximum gross laden weight.
An initial set of 24 wagons has been converted and they are working trains from Tarmac’s Arcow quarry to Bredbury, Agecroft and Leeds. A second set of 25 wagons has now been converted and these will be working further services from Arcow and Swinden quarries. The newly-fitted wagons will convey a range of different size aggregate materials.
“We are very pleased to have been able to refurbish and upgrade 49 new wagons, and continue to find innovative ways to support our customers,” said John Smith, managing director, GB Railfreight.
Chris Swan, head of Rail at Tarmac, said: “Efficient wagons have a key role to play in delivering these ambitions and so it’s good to see the repurposing of materials and equipment with the arrival of this latest wagon set from GB Railfreight.”