Eversholt Rail and Gemini Rail Services have announced a programme to convert four Class 321 units for Swift Express Freight.
Work to convert the units will begin this month, and delivery is expected from February 2022.
Eversholt Rail has said that it is negotiating with an increasing number of train operators who have said that they are seeking to capitalise on the HGV driver shortage as well as other logistics issues impacting UK supply chains.
The four Class 321 units are an evolution of the Swift First-in-Class that was launched in July. In addition to removal of seats and fitting new flooring and a retention system, this enhanced Version 2 will also see Gemini remove the toilets and relocate the GSM-R and OTM-R equipment to provide additional capacity.
Negotiations with prospective operators are at an advanced stage and Eversholt Rail expects to agree a lease for the four units by the end of 2021.
Client services director at Eversholt Rail, Paul Sutherland, said: “We’re pleased to agree this Swift conversion programme with Gemini.
“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.”
Chief executive officer at Gemini Rail Services, Austin Wallace, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Eversholt Rail on this innovative project that will provide the UK logistics industry with a cost effective and lower carbon transport solution.