The NiKRASA system enables the transfer non-cranable semitrailers between road and rail within existing standards and infrastructure and without any changes to the wagon, the semitrailer or business processes. This means existing transhipment facilities can be used without additional investment.
NiKRASA is already in use at terminals in Padborg in Denmark, Bettembourg in Luxembourg, and Verona and Trieste in Italy.
TXLogistik has 100 of the first-generation NiKRASA platforms in use as well as 50 of the 2.275-tonne second-generation version, which is on show at InnoTrans this week mounted on a Sdggmrss (T3000E) twin-unit articulated intermodal wagon built by Tatravagonka Poprad. The wagon is equipped with PJMtelematics for automatic load, axle box, running gear and location monitoring as well as Lucchini 23.5-tonne axleload wheelsets.
According to Mr Norbert Rekers, TX Logistik regional sales manager for central Europe, handling equipment can be installed in a terminal in three weeks and staff training can be completed in a day. “There is a weight and length penalty with other more complex systems which means you can lose up to eight trailers per train,”Rekers explains. “That’s no good if the last three trailers on the train represent all of your profits. The question is what the market will accept, and this system is the future for rail haulage of non-cranable trailers.
Rekers says that while TXLogistik works in cooperation with a wagon manufacturer it retains ownership of the NiKRASA design. Nonetheless, other operators can adopt NiKRASA for their own use. “There are about 1.4 million cranable semitrailers in Europe, and about 80% could be transferrable,” Rekers says. “If all European rail freight players could collectively attract 100,000 semitrailers a year to rail – only a small part of the market - that would be fantastic. We are open to doing business with anyone because we should all be looking to bring lorries from road to rail and there should be common approaches to achieving this.”
TXLogistik says it has identified freight flows from mainland Europe to the London area as a potential market for the system and has received requests to use NiKRASA through the Channel Tunnel.