Ricardo working with Eversholt Rail to develop low-carbon 'Swift' Express Freight train

Ricardo working with Eversholt Rail to develop low-carbon 'Swift' Express Freight train
19 March 2021

Ricardo’s design teams have teamed up with Eversholt Rail, a UK rolling stock leasing company, to transform a passenger train into a low-carbon option for transporting parcels directly into urban centres.

The Swift Express Freight train is a Class 321 electric multiple-unit that has been redesigned by our engineering teams to hold up to 12 tonnes of parcels and operate at speeds of up to 100mph.

The conversion will involve the removal of all passenger facilities and the interiors fitted with new flooring and storage containers.

Work on a demonstrator unit is due to commence at Wabtec’s Doncaster site in April, with trials scheduled to commence later in the summer.

It is hoped the demonstration unit will show how the train can offer a cost-effective and low-carbon alternative for transporting parcels around the rail network.

“We are delighted to be providing the engineering and conversion of this vehicle for Eversholt Rail’, says Jonathan Brown, Ricardo’s Technical & Innovation Engagement Lead. ‘This demonstrator will show the potential for a modal shift of parcel freight to rail for rapid delivery to urban centres around the UK, removing trucks from our streets, reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality’

Paul Sutherland, Client Relations Director at Eversholt Rail said: “We are excited to be developing the Swift Express Freight train which will help to support customers with a cost-effective solution to help them meet the growing demand for home delivery of parcels around the UK. This project demonstrates Eversholt Rail’s continued innovation across our rolling stock portfolio as we continue to showcase our commitment to helping the UK meet its decarbonisation targets.”