Redundant Mk 3 and Mk 4 carriages could potentially be converted into freight vehicles coupled to high-speed passenger services.
InterCity Railfreight and rail consultancy Intermodality have submitted a proposal to the Government to get the carriages back in service.
Intermodality Director Nick Gallop told RAIL on January 25 that the Mk 3s would be the ideal carriages for the scheme, as they are modern, easily recognisable, and have at least ten years’ life left in them. He said that disused Mk 4s could then be considered if the Mk 3s prove successful.
Mk 3s currently used in High Speed Train formations by Great Western Railway and Virgin Trains East Coast will be replaced by Hitachi’s Intercity Express Programme Class 800/801s from 2018. IEP will also displace the majority of Mk 4s from VTEC from 2018.
But rather than the carriages then being scrapped, the freight plans could give them a new lease of life, in turn raising revenue for train operating companies (TOCs).
- For more on this story, read RAIL 793, published on February 3.