[AL AWARDS Stories #2] A new design of wagons with adjustable upper decks!

29 May 2018

We are glad to present the second GEFCO project in competition for the AL Awards Europe 2018 in the category “Packaging & materials handling innovation award”: the adjustable upper decks wagon.

As a major player among European rail operators, continuous improvement and innovation are important to us to make rail transport of used or new finished vehicles more flexible and efficient. To accomplish this objective, the adjustable upper decks wagon project was launched and became a reality in 2018.

An aging existing equipment less adapted to the market

Today, car manufacturers produce SUV vehicles or very wide sedans whose dimensions make the load on old generation wagons difficult, or even impossible.

These wagons are indeed less and less adapted to the new needs of the market due to:


  • the increase of operational constraints and maintenance costs as they advance in age
  • transport capacities limited to standards vehicles 
  • the requirement of exceptional transport authorisation due to specific loads.

Over and above these technical constraints, there is a decrease of efficiency in the transport schemes as some trains must sometimes go back empty because of their configurations suitable only for a one way trip.

What is the solution developed?

A new generation wagon type has been imagined: with an adjustable double deck, it is henceforth adapted to all types of configurations and loads. 

It is a high-capacity wagon that can accommodate several types of vehicles, without technical limitations, up to 27 tons of load. 

The new wagons are approved per the latest specifications of technical interoperability and European standards in force.

What are the benefits of this project?


> By adjusting upper decks position, the transport capacity has been optimised by more than 10%. Its modularity is such that it allows complex groupages.

> With these double-decker wagons, it is also possible to load vehicles directly from the dock without a ramp. Their lifting system is also suitable for all configurations. They can operate in all centers.

> It favors innovative and optimised transport schemes. For instance, we are able to transport light vehicles in one direction and commercial vehicles in the other, which was previously impossible. This project enables to improve GEFCO rail freight service for its clients and optimises its multimodal solutions.

> The safety of staff and vehicles is also improved, by a high-performance wedging system and lateral protection of fences on a large height of the European transport pattern.

> Finally, for GEFCO’s customers, this new solution allows transport price optimisation thanks to the capacity increase of loading for vehicles of a large built. 

Find out the third entry in competition, in the category "Supply chain resilience": "We achieve the impossible for a large car manufacturer!"