Product development company 42 Technology has secured £350,000 worth of Government funding towards developing a system that can turn passenger carriages into goods vehicles.
The Adaptable Carriage system allows seats and tables to be stowed within three minutes, creating space for cargo that would normally be sent by road. 42 Technology envisages the system being employed on quieter off-peak services to carry low-density, high-value goods. It could also be used to create storage space for wheelchairs and bicycles, if required.
The firm has been awarded the funding by Innovate UK to “further de-risk the technology and provide access to organisations to help demonstrate its feasibility and value to the rail and logistics industry”, according to Zane van Romunde, Transport Sector Lead at 42 Technology.
A pilot testing programme is expected to commence later this year, with Porterbrook supplying rolling stock for the trials. RAIL understands the tests are likely to use either an off-lease Class 319 electric multiple unit or a ‘769’ Flex bi-mode unit.
“We are in the process of identifying a suitable test vehicle for the trials,” Rupert Brennan-Brown, Head of Communications and Engagement at Porterbrook, told RAIL.
- The full story is in RAIL 847, published on February 28, and is available now on Android and iPad.