Dapol delivers a great ‘Super Low’

REVIEW: The IDA container ‘twins’ have been released to accompany the Class 68, these being used on DRS intermodals.

DAPOL has further expanded its range of current day wagons in ‘OO’ gauge with the release of the IDA container flat ‘twins’, as used exclusively by Direct Rail Services on its intermodal services radiating from the rail freight terminal at Daventry, near Rugby.

The IDAs are best known for carrying the distinctive Stobart Rail and Tesco ‘Less CO2 Rail’ 45ft swap body containers, these making use of the ‘Super Lows’ deck length rather than its low height. The more recent 9ft 6in ‘Less CO2 Rail’ high-cube container just visible on the wagon to the right, needs both features though. No. 39 70 4901 038-2 is seen a Kingsthorpe on May 3, 2016. Dan Adkins

Built by WH Davis and introduced from 2011, the wagons are designed to carry 9ft 6in containers and have seen particular use on Stobart/Tesco workings. However, they have not been the success that was hoped for as the D&E Files opposite details in full, with less than half the fleet currently operational.

When initially selected by Dapol, the IDAs had a bright future ahead of them, being an innovative way of moving high-cube containers around the network without expensive gauge clearance work. They were seen as the perfect accompaniment for the Class 68, offering a current day intermodal train from one manufacturer. As it stands though, the Class 68s have not had a huge amount to do with the IDAs, the wagons’ most prominent use between Daventry and Purfleet remaining firmly in the hands of ’66s’.

The IDAs have begun to feature in the Daventry-Mossend trains again though, which have enjoyed double-headed Class 68 power in recent months and, since late June, single Class 88s. However, the ‘Super Lows’ remain in the minority on these workings with IKA Megafrets continuing to dominate.

Read more in the August issue of RE – on sale now!

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