The wagon created by the two companies is designed to be modular, increasing capacity and providing a flexible superstructure that can be customised to meet individual logistics requirements.

Manufacturing of the Transant range has been ongoing since the official launch at InnoTrans in autumn 2018. The first prototypes were sent to customers for test runs soon after, and the first 60 Transant wagons have been transporting domestic ore for Voestalpine since autumn 2019.

The 70ft wagon is 20% lighter than an equivalent wagon and as a result can offer around 4 tonnes greater payload. The wagon’s baseframe, which is central to the reduced weight, utilises a high-strength but lightweight L-form 550 and 700 steel provided by Voestalpine, which is 1cm thick compared with 2cm in a conventional wagon. Cutting of the steel and manufacturing of the wagon was conducted by the TS Slovakia joint venture of ÖBB Technical Services and Zos Trnava.

“With Transant, we channelled our expertise in innovative transport solutions into a landmark concept,” says Ms Sandra Gott-Karlbauer, ÖBB Technical Services managing director. “The JV will put this revolutionary technology on the rails and make rail freight transport more flexible, more sustainable and more attractive.”

“What started out on paper two years ago is now protecting the environment and saving money,” says Mr Wolfgang Mitterdorfer, sales director of Voestalpine’s steel division. “The JV gives us a common framework for driving forward this innovation.”

The JV has set itself the task of creating capacities in the market for innovative and cost-efficient freight wagons and maintaining the necessary agility across group boundaries.

The partnership will begin with a preparatory phase for planning, project management and establishing contacts with potential customers of the Transant concept. The signing of the JV has formalised the partnership and the planning of the plant construction, pre-series production and transition to series production has been initiated.