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Re-branding of rail maintenance vehicles for VolkerRail


When VolkerWessels bv acquired GrantRail, re-branding of a fleet of rail maintenance vehicles was required, removing the original orange and blue livery in favour of the VolkerRail white, black and blue corporate colours.

The fleet included Matisa B41 / B45 tampers and Matisa R24 regulators, Kirow1200, 810 and 250 cranes, as well as Unimog, Colmar and Skyhigh rail plant.

Photo of rebranded Kirow

The work was undertaken at the VolkerRail site using a portable paint booth equipped with an extraction system, explosion-proof lighting and rail-mounted access equipment. The objectives were:

1: to rebrand the equipment
2: to introduce an outstanding cosmetic finish
3: to introduce the best-possible levels of corrosion resistance
4: to prevent fading of the paint through exposure to UV light
5: and to resist damage from impact and abrasion

These objectives were achieved providing a paint system that best suited our customer’s requirements.


Emtrade International achieves high-quality paint finishes by scrupulous attention to detail in preparation.

Stage 1: Preparation
Units to be painted were steam cleaned, and existing decals were removed before the units were moved into the painting booth. At this stage the whole unit was checked to ensure no areas requiring further degreasing had been overlooked.

Steps, handrails, and window guard panels were removed and taken to our nearby premises to be prepared and painted individually. After this we were able to start detailed preparation with mechanical sanders.

After preparation, we inspected the whole unit again to check the quality of our work. Once we were happy that the entire unit had been prepared to the required standard, masking off areas that were not to be painted could begin. When we had completed the masking, we cleaned the whole unit with tack cloths in readiness for priming.

Stage 2: Applying paint
The whole of each unit was primed with filler gray. This material is a quality high solids-compliant primer with high build and good corrosion resistance properties, and was chosen expressly for this application.

When fully primed, each unit was then checked over to seek out any imperfections. Any that were found were reworked by sanding off and spot priming. When the priming was complete, each unit was then thoroughly cleaned with more tack cloths in readiness for application of the top coat.

The highest quality on the VolkerRail livery is achieved by applying the white first. Two coats of white were applied. When this had dried and been checked, we masked the area off and applied two coats of black. We then masked off the black around the areas to be painted in yellow. This final colour was sprayed at low pressure to prevent overspray going on the unmasked black.

Stage 3: Finishing
The re-finished steps, hand rails and window guard panels were refitted at this stage, and masked edges were cleaned up in readiness for VolkerRail to apply appropriate decals to the bogies, and for specialist sub-contractor signage company to apply the main livery.

At this point the finished unit was checked firstly by ourselves and then double checked by VolkerRail before it could be released back into service.

Mark Jackson, General Manager of VolkerRail Plant, said: “To rebrand such a variety of large equipment on a tight schedule has proven what can be achieved when all parties operate with a high degree of mutual support and understanding.

“Being able to complete so much work safely, efficiently and within budget demonstrates just what can be achieved through teamwork with the right partner.”

View additional rail portfolio photographs


What We Do

Emtrade operates in the rail infrastructure sector. We undertake civil engineering projects directly for TOC’s refurbishing and enhancing rail platforms.

The company provides superior quality repainting and rebranding services to all type of rail vehicles (passenger, freight, infrastructure) as well as designing and installing quality modular paintshops in situ to facilitate repainting.


Client Testimonials

  • Installation of cycle parking at Waterloo station

  • Upgrading cycle facilities at Salisbury station

  • Installing security bollards at the London Olympics

  • Modular painting booth for rail vehicles

  • Rail vehicle repainting and rebranding service

  • Vehicle security barrier work at Stanstead airport

  • Installation of HVM security barriers

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