Low floor wagons make it possible for heavy goods vehicles (HGV) to use the rail network while remaining within gauge. Thus, the floor of these wagons is very close to the rails and the bogies are sometimes equipped with smaller wheels for this type of transport. This system was designed to avoid vertical handling and the use of cranes.
There are several variants of this type of equipment in Europe:
- The Swiss « RoLa » rolling road system: HGVs enter at one end of the train via an access ramp and leave via the other end upon arrival. This type of equipment has been used for more than twenty years, for example by Hupac
- The low floor wagon from Arbel Fauvet Rail (AFR) used on the Channel Tunnel shuttle.
- The British Cargo Speed low floor wagon. This is equipped with a pivoting platform and requires a turntable sunk into the ground.
- The Modalohr low floor wagon. Like the Cargo Speed wagon, this is equipped with a pivoting platform and requires a turntable sunk into the ground. These wagons are found on the Lorry Rail and AFA rolling highways.