Eversholt Rail has teamed up with Gemini Rail Services to launch an initial programme for the alteration of four Class 321 units for Swift Express Freight.
Modification work will begin this month, with the delivery of the units projected to begin from February next year.
Eversholt Rail is currently holding discussions with train operators, helping them overcome issues of HGV driver shortage and other logistics problems impacting the country’s supply chains.
Designed in collaboration with Ricardo, the Swift Express Freight offers an economical and low carbon solution for transporting parcels in the UK.
With the capacity to operate at a speed of 100mph, these trains can carry around 12t of freight per vehicle.
These units are ‘an evolution’ of the Swift First-in-Class, which was introduced in July.
Under the modification work, seats will be removed, with new flooring and a retention system deployed.
For improved Version 2, Gemini will also remove the toilets and reposition the GSM-R and OTM-R equipment for more capacity.
According to Eversholt Rail, negotiations with potential operators have reached an advanced stage.
The company is anticipating signing a lease for the four units by the end of this year.
Eversholt Rail client services director Paul Sutherland said: “The logistics industry is facing delivery and environmental challenges that Swift Express Freight can alleviate. The agreement to convert four Swift units will build on the current momentum and enable an operator to showcase the full spectrum of benefits on offer, we look forward to seeing the units in service and supporting the growth of the concept in 2022.
Last week, Alstom partnered with Eversholt Rail to deliver the UK’s first new hydrogen train fleet.