Railway Gazette

United Wagon Co recently delivered the first wagons manufactured by TikhvinChemMash. The subsidiary was established at UWC's Tikhvin factory to produce tank cars to modern designs developed by its Centre for Transportation Technologies.

The chemical tanks were delivered to Ural Mining & Metallurgical Co’s Sredneuralsky Copper Smelter and Yekaterinburg Commerce & Industry Co’s Polar Freight business.

UWC said the 25 tonne axleload Barber bogies give the wagons a capacity of 77 tonnes, 10% more than older Russian designs, reducing transport and lifecycle costs while also increasing safety.

The two-year project to build the tank car manufacturing facility was backed by the Ministry of Economic Development and the Industry Development Fund, with state guarantees from the Ministry of Finance.

More than 20 European and American suppliers were involved in setting up the production lines, which make use of extensive automation and modern robotic systems to combine best practice from western and Russian engineering, UWC said. The facility has an annual capacity of 3 600 tank cars, and UWC intends to manufacture more than 15 designs for chemical products including sulphuric acid, methanol and ammonia. It is also planning to produce articulated tank cars which it says will be new to the CIS market.

UWC said it envisages great demand for modern tank cars, as much of the Russian fleet dates back to the Soviet era and was not renovated in 2000-15. In addition, a large proportion of Russia’s tank wagons were produced in Ukraine, however supplies were stopped in 2014. UWC also said the Russian government is taking steps to make modern wagons more affordable to buyers.