Global Railway Review

The United Wagon Company (UWC) – the largest producer of freight cars in Russia – has announced that it has signed a contract with EuroChem – one of the leading global producers of mineral fertilisers – for the supply of a batch of 15-6901 model tank cars running on 25 tonne axle load bogies.

The cars will be delivered to Novomoskovskiy Azot (part of the EuroChem Group) by the end of 2020 to be used for the transportation of concentrated nitric acid.

With a loading capacity of 75 tonnes and a tank volume of 54.78 m3, the model 15-6901 tank cars differ significantly from standard models that are widely available on the market. These specifications will allow the consignor to increase loads by one third per car.

In view of the highly hazardous nature of the transported freight, the car’s tank is made from AD0-grade aluminium, which has guaranteed physical characteristics and a performance rating 40 per cent higher than the rolled stock used in standard models.

The tank is manufactured using the friction stir welding technique, which has a number of advantages compared with fusion welding. This significantly reduces the likelihood of joint defects, minimises harmful environmental impacts and increases the joint’s strength and flexibility indicators by 10 per cent, compared to the original state of the material.

The tank and discharge system are airtight, the valve is equipped with a safety membrane and the car uses a modern discharge valve lined with an acid-resistant polymer, ensuring that the freight is safely isolated from the tank car’s operating personnel and the environment.

In addition, the possibility of installing a radar level sensor ensures the contact-free, accurate measurement of the tank fill level for a wide range of product temperatures in a chemically active environment.

The service life of the 15-6901 model is 40 years, compared with 20 years for current mass market tank car models. The model 18-9855 bogie is a significant advantage for the tank car, allowing for an increase in the maintenance interval by up to 1 million kilometres (or eight years). For comparison, standard models are sent for their first depot repair after running 210,000km (or two years).

Deputy CEO for Commerce and Marketing at the United Wagon Company, Boris Myagkov, said: “Tank cars for transporting concentrated nitric acid are among the most technically advanced products in our company’s portfolio and, in fact, offer a unique transportation solution for today’s domestic market. The product represents the successful synergy between progressive thinking and modern production sites. UWC acted as the developer and manufacturer of the rolling stock, while Arconic SMZ, the largest Russian enterprise manufacturing high-tech semi-finished aluminium products, supplied corrosion-resistant aluminium plates, and Sespel, a leading manufacturer of specialised equipment based in Cheboksary, carried out welding work on the tanks. This partnership has allowed us to develop effective rolling stock that can respond to the new market realities and meet the high standards of the transportation industry.”