Trains-for-trucks GLC wagon plan
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IN .A FURTHER attempt to keep heavy lorries out of London, the Greater London Council is funding the development of a refrigerated rail wagon.
If everything runs smoothly and there is enough interest, it will be 1987 before the wagons are seen in operation in London, GLC freight officer Martin Foulkes said.
The aim is for the 60ft refrigerated wagons to take over the work of two 32.5-tonne lorries which would normally enter London, he said.
However, the project is still in the very early stages. So far there has only been a test run of the wagon, which has been developed by Lancashire-based wagon builder Standard Wagon. It is designed to transport deep-frozen goods and has an electrical refrigeration system driven from one of the wagon's axles.
Speedlink Distribution, the part of British Rail which mounted the first trial load, says that it is an opportunity to win more domestic and international business from hauliers.
The GLC has given a £115,000 grant to help finance the _project. The next step is to develop a chilled wagon as well as the frozen one, and to design a demountable version, Mr Foulkes said.
Wagons could then come in from the UK and Europe, and be lifted on to lorries for the London-based retailers, he said.
• There has still been no judgment from the High Court judge about the GLC's fight with Transport Secretary Nicholas Ridley over its proposed lorry ban. The decision of whether the night and weekend ban for lorries over 16.5 tonnes can go ahead, is expected shortly.