The Rail Wagon Association (RWA) is the new name for the Private Wagon Federation (PWF) as it rebrands and incorporates in order to improve promotion of the development of the latest freight wagons and provide the sector with the critical focus it needs.
Unlike other trade bodies operating in the freight sector, the RWA is dedicated to providing an expert eye and specific focus on the development and maintenance of rail freight wagons. In its new guise, it can expand its membership to include a wider scope of companies, including wagon users, suppliers and maintainers, freight operating companies, support service providers and other key stakeholders from across the sector.
At the RWA’s inaugural general meeting, member companies electing a new board of directors:
- Colin Denman, VTG Rail;
- Guy Peasley, GBRf;
- Richard Allen, Ermewa;
- Tim Gabb, Freightliner.
They will be joining the existing senior team, consisting of chairman, Rob Brook (VTG), vice-chairman Les Bryant (Davis Wagon Services) and general manager Steve Taylor.
Chairman Rob Brook said: “Efficient wagons are critical to the success of the rail freight sector and further enhance the business case for modal switch. Meeting national environmental and sustainability targets will require a greater move toward rail, and enabling that to happen hinges on having the right wagon assets available to operators.
“As more shippers come to realise the benefits of putting their goods onto rail, the greater the need for fully optimised and enhanced wagon fleets. The digitalisation of wagons is critical to the future development of the sector and unlocks powerful new potential in providing shippers greater efficiency gains and crucial visibility of their goods in transit.
“Rail freight needs to engage and come together to embrace this powerful technology and RWA will play a key role in facilitating that change.
“Rail freight will also play a key role in helping to decarbonise the UK economy and RWA will be vital in providing the expert knowledge needed to support the case and in presenting the evidence of wagon development that will underpin the future benefits and cost effectiveness of the mode.
“The rail freight sector is growing all the time, and, with increasing interest from sectors traditionally reliant on road transport, the RWA will now be better positioned to reflect the needs of its members and provide the critical expertise needed.”
Steve Taylor, general manager of the RWA, went on to say: “Maintaining our reputation within the industry for engineering expertise is very important to us and so we will continue to use our strapline; ‘Putting Wagons First’ to mark this heritage.
“The PWF achieved a huge amount over the years. We have played a leading role in facilitating the introduction of the ECM (Entities in Charge of Maintenance) legislation and in supporting our members throughout the Brexit transition. I look forward to serving the new company as its general manager and to developing the business of the RWA.”
RWA maintains close links with the Rail Freight Group (RFG) and last year held a joint wagon seminar focussed on the issues facing the sector. This year the second joint meeting with RFG will examine the development of digital automatic couplers. ‘Digital Automated Coupling – will it transform wagons?‘ takes place on 8 December and is available to members of either the RWA or Rail Freight Group.