Railway Gazette

National Railways of Zimbabwe has signed an agreement for United Wagon Co to supply 100 open wagons. They are scheduled to be delivered within 12 months of NRZ finalising an export loan with the assistance of the Russian supplier.

The 1 067 mm gauge wagons are to be used for cross-border shipments of coal, chrome ore and bagged grains. They will have 18.6 tonne axleload bogies, solid bottoms and a loading capacity of 54 tonnes or 65 m3.

UWC said it would design the wagons in compliance with international standards and to meet the particular requirements of operation in the climate of central and southern Africa.

It will also supply spare parts, tools and testing equipment, and provide aftersales support including training NRZ maintenance staff in Zimbabwe and at its Tikhvin factory in Russia.

Expanding exports

UWC has previously supplied 114 hopper wagons to Guinea, and ‘is known as a universal manufacturer on the global market’ which ‘can design and produce vehicles for any gauge and compliant to any construction standard’, according to Boris Myagkov, Deputy CEO for Commerce & Marketing.

‘Despite the African market being highly fragmented, we already have an understanding of its rules and options’, he explained when the latest agreement was announced on November 11. ‘The region now witnesses its transport arteries developing rapidly, railways included. In this context, we will continue expanding our exports in the African continent.’

NRZ General Manager Lewis A Mukwada said the national railway ‘looks forward to expanding our partnership with UWC, as we plan to renovate our wagon fleet, which is quite old. In the mid-term, we will be ready to negotiate more supplies of different wagon types, including tank cars, flat cars and vans, as well as terms and conditions for setting up a network of maintenance and assembly facilities.’