On 6 February 2020 OVK (UWC) announced that it has received certification of RS FZhT (Register of Certification for the Federal Railway Transport) for two models of six-axle articulated hopper wagons. The Model 19-6978 and 19-6978-01 six-axle hoppers are designed for the transportation of grain and mineral fertilizers. They have two 80 m3 bodyshells, a tare weight of 35.8 t, and can carry payloads of up to 113.5 t. It has been possible to achieve these results thanks to the wagon’s articulated design: the bodyshells are connected together using a maintenance-free joint, which ensures that the wagon can negotiate tight curves of a minimum radius of 60 m.

The hoppers are mounted on 25 t axle-load Model 18-9855 bogies, designed for a top service speed of 120 km/h. The bogies have an inbuilt braking system, which serves to reduce the tare weight of the wagon. 19,380 mm long over couplings, the wagons are 3,170 mm wide and 4,758 mm high above rail top. They are each fitted with eight loading and 12 unloading apertures. Both models of hoppers are compatible with standard loading and unloading infrastructure and can be operated at all existing terminals. According to OVK calculations, the use of the articulated hoppers makes it possible to increase carrying capacity on the network by 22 % and to reduce the fleet size by 38 %, as well as to lower the cost of transporting freight thanks to savings made on freight charges for wagons.

The first prototype of the six-axle articulated grain and mineral fertiliser hopper was built by TVSZ in November 2017, followed by a second prototype in January 2018.

In autumn 2019 the prototypes were subjected to certification testing, with test commercial service expected to start in early 2020, with a view to batch production starting in 2021. To date, OVK has received certification for three types of articulated wagons: gondola, tank and hopper wagons. OVK is also preparing for certification a tank wagon for the transport of light petroleum products, and the technology for carrying freight consignments in swapbodies on articulated platform wagons.

Boris Myagkov, OVK Deputy CEO for Commerce and Marketing: „We are currently seeing high levels of competition on the grain market among exporting nations, production volumes of mineral fertilizers are increasing, and the demand for these products is growing domestically. OVK is therefore giving its partners the chance to make use not only of new generation cars on 25 t axle-load bogies, but also articulated wagons, which provide additional cost effectiveness in transportation. The OVK-built articulated hoppers and gondolas are now ready to be rolled out onto the network, and the six-axle tank wagons are already showing great operational results. In the near future, our company plans to certify also the articulated flat wagons. We believe that the growth in freight productivity is focused on the articulated rolling stock."