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Profiles - Intermodal
Wagons in this section are those designed to ease the transipment between modes, principally road to rail and vice versa. This is not a new idea and basic Conflat wagons pre-dated BR, carrying containers that could be transferred to horse-drawn carts or lorries. The introduction of ever-larger road vehicles allowed bigger containers to be carried and the Freightliner concept was launched in 1964, soon to be overtaken by the global standardisation on ISO boxes. Throughout BR’s existence there were attempts to produce even more efficient means of trans-shipping cargos but designs such as the Road-Railer, Trailer-Train and Piggy-Back wagons never really took off. Second generation container wagons have broadly followed the Freightliner configuration with the main innovations being in designs to carry taller containers within the BR loading gauge.

Image Type Built Qty Used Added Edited

FEA Bogie Container Wagons  2003-2007 920 2003-current 20/03/2008 16/03/2010
Although the first examples appeared as recently as 2003, the FEA intermodal flat wagon has proved popular with a variety of operators and over 900 were in stock by 2008. As well as carrying ISO containers the type is also used for infrastructure-related roles, for which specialised modules are fitted.

FFA/FGA Freightliner Flats  1964-1976 2137 1964-current 01/10/2007 16/03/2010
The 1960s was a period of innovation for British rail freight, with many radically new designs appearing. The Freightliner wagons were a huge advance over the short wheelbase conflat wagons built before, and they were fortunately able to be adapted to the ISO standard for containers that emerged shortly after their introduction. As such, they carried the majority of intermodal rail traffic in the UK until their gradual replacement by newer types in the 1990s.

FLA 'Lowliner' Bogie Container Wagons  1989-2005 128 1991-current 29/03/2008 17/04/2008
The FLA wagons are low-floor container carriers, capable of accomodating the increasingly popular ‘high-cube’ ISO containers within the British loading gauge. Formed into 2-, 3-, 4- or 5-wagon sets, they can be seen mixed in with other wagon types on Freightliner services across the country.

FSA/FTA Bogie Container Wagons  1991-1993 700 1991-current 29/03/2008 16/03/2010
The 700 wagons that make up the FSA/FTA fleet represented proabably the largest investment in railway-owned wagons during the 1990s, and were also the first such vehicles to be imported rather than home-built. Fairly standard container-carrying wagons, they bolstered the ageing Freightliner fleet, allowing for retirement of many FFAs and FGAs.

KQA/KTA Tiphook 'Pocket' Container Wagons 1997-1998 75 1997-current 02/01/2009 15/10/2014
The KQA/KTA wagons were another type specifically intended to permit the carriage of 9ft 6in tall containers within the UK loading gauge. With a distinctive slab-sided design, the wagons were initially given RIV numbers, but being used only on domestic Freightliner services, were later renumbered into the private-owner series. The method of carrying containers earned them the nickname Pocket wagons.

SAA Steel Carriers / FPA Container Flats  1966-1971 301 1966-current 1/12/2006 10/01/2008
The SAA fleet of 2-axle steel carrying wagons had a very short life in their original form, and the majority saw extensive use as barriers and runners. After 10 years of under utilisation, over half of the wagons were rebuilt as FPA container flats and were used to carry coal, mainly in Scotland.

Page added: 01/10/2007 Spotted an error? Got some additional info?
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Last edited: 16/03/2010