Conceived in 1997 as a palletised version of the Travelling Post Office (TPO), with the capacity to:

  • Fully automate pallet tracking and movement, potentially removing the need for ISO containers in certain applications.
  • Bring freight pallets for the same destination together in the same place on the rail vehicle.
  • Accept pallets for a wide variety of destinations automatically at the same loading point.
  • Allow for complete train loading and unloading at the touch of a button, using technology similar to that used in automated warehouses.
  • Make commercially viable the operation of many more, smaller intermodal terminals.

RAILFAST designates the freight system, not the train itself.  It requires a suitable rail vehicle to carry it.  To this end, Railfast Intermodal Limited has teamed up with TruckTrain® Developments Limited, with a view to modifying their ISO container-carrying TruckTrain® vehicle to carry RAILFAST.  TruckTrain® is designed to look much like a fixed multiple-unit passenger vehicle with a cab at each end and able to accelerate, deaccelerate and run at speeds compatible with passenger traffic.  This is as compared to your more conventional multiple-wagon ISO container train pulled by a locomotive, which for Fast, Frequent Fulfilment (F3) traffic in particular is increasingly seen as ‘not fit for purpose’.

 

 

From 2014 – 2016, work was undertaken by University of Birmingham on ‘proof of concept’, resulting in the following video:

 

 

Currently, Railfast Intermodal and TruckTrain® Developments Limited are in confidential discussions with key players in the warehouse, manufacturing and logistics industries.