Iarnród Éireann to increase capacity of freight trains by 50% to increase competitiveness of rail
In a welcome move, Iarnrod Éireann / Irish Rail have commenced trials that will allow the length of freight trains on the network in the Republic of Ireland to increase by up to 50%. The first trial to test the hauling capability of the class 201 class locomotive was successfully completed on Monday 15th February with a 1296 tonne laden train hauled from Dublin to Sallins up the prevailing gradient of between 1 in 85 and 1 in 140. The next trials will involve trains of 27 flat wagons for containers and of 18 pulpwood wagons.
The trials should see the maximum freight train size on the network increase from 18 wagons up to 27 wagons (54TEU’s) where permissible, thus increasing the capacity and competitiveness of rail freight services. The environmental benefits of rail freight would also be enhanced – currently moving freight by rail instead of road reduces emissions up to 75% per unit, and longer trains could see emissions reduced to as little as one-tenth of the road equivalent.
Iarnród Éireann General Manger Rail Freight, Glenn Carr said that “Iarnród Éireann are working with existing customers as well as Freight Forwarders, Ports and the Irish Exporters Association to identify opportunities and trends for rail freight development within the Irish and European market. Longer freight trains will further enhance both the commercial and environmental competitiveness of rail freight in Ireland.”