Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel has placed a €40m order with WBN Waggonbau Niesky to deliver three new freight shuttles.

This decision to expand its existing fleet of 15 shuttles is expected to enable the company to increase its capacity by 20% and to run up to eight departures an hour during peak times, compared with the current six departures.

Waggonbau Niesky will build three 800m-long shuttles, comprising 32 carrying wagons, three loading wagons and a carriage for the truck drivers.

"The consultation that we led confirmed that we are at the leading edge of railway development."

Delivery of the shuttles are expected to take place in the end of 2016 and early 2017. Eurotunnel believes that this new shuttles will help the company to reach the target of transporting two million trucks a year in 2020.

Groupe Eurotunnel Concession chief operating officer Michel Boudoussier said: "As the world leader in the rolling motorway industry, Eurotunnel has been able to draw upon its 20 years of experience in the design of these third-generation shuttles.

"The consultation that we led confirmed that we are at the leading edge of railway development."

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By GlobalData

The new shuttles will be constructed using the latest technology to make sure that energy efficiency and strength are coupled with reliability, Eurotunnel stated.

This new development is supported by a €30m programme of investments in the expansion of Folkestone and Coquelles terminals, which will enhance the fluidity of traffic across the Eurotunnel site.