Innovation for the modal shift: VTG to Europe-wide use of VEGA r2L technology to put trailers on the rails

Innovation for the modal shift: VTG to Europe-wide use of VEGA r2L technology to put trailers on the rails
photo: Vega International/VTG to use VEGA r2L technology
01 / 03 / 2021

This technology innovation meets the EU Green Deal: 90 % of all European terminals can immediately use the “road-rail-link” (r2L) technology to handle non-craneable semitrailers and to putting them on the pocket wagons to increase rail share of the modal split. VTG AG and Siezenheim-based company Vega International Car Transport & Logistic – Trading signed a master agreement to implement r2L 2.1 modules to drive the expansion of intermodal services.

With the biggest privately-owned fleet of 95.000+ railcars, the VTG AG is a strong influencer in several facets of the international railway freight wagon hiring and rail logistics industry: the company and its subsidiaries are - more or less - dictating the maintenance standards for decades. They have a significant influence on the price policy in the manufacturing of newly built wagons, and the role of VTG in technology innovations or implementation of digital technologies on the wagon such as the GPS modules and connected sensors is crucial.

There are several ways how to put road cargo semi-trailers on the rails, among others is RoLA, Nikrasa, Lohr, Cargobeamer, etc. These patented commercial technology systems can allow true intermodal transport. But every single of them has some limitation: technological, territorial, economical, or just business one. Now it seems that European major freight wagon keeper made the The Decision, which can change the game in entire Europe.

So far, VTG has ordered 150 modules, the speed and scope of future deliveries will depend on market developments and the possibilities of the Vega supplier. Deliveries of the ordered 150 units will take place by the end of the first quarter of 2021, and all of them are already leased to end customers. To date, VTG uses more than 50 pieces of the r2L modules type 2.1.

A terminal operator GVT, which is the VTG customer, tested the r2L solution in Tilburg, Netherlands. Completion of the pilot runs of this handling and transport technology was successful and VTG has commissioned it for operational use. Vega is about to use modules 2.1 "Trailer Use" both for T3000 and TWIN pocket cars.

The frame contract between VTG and Vega International opens a way to Europe-wide development of this particular modal shift solution. There is no doubt that this decision was made with full awareness of the impact that this leader has on the evolution of the entire European transport industry. It is good that this step is aimed at achieving the European Union's climate goals, and that the VTG also considers the Green Deal to be its commitment.

“One of our main goals is to further advance intermodal transport,” says Jakob Öhrström, Managing Director and Head of the Intermodal Center of Competence at VTG Rail Europe GmbH. “One important step in the right direction is, therefore, to make it possible to use cranes to lift what are mostly non-craneable semitrailers, thereby shifting more transportation onto the rails. Thanks to the innovative r2L concept from VEGA, we have now found the right solution.”

So we can assume that the market can expect a bold increase of pressure to shifting road cargo on the rails soon.

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