TikhvinChemMash (an entity of the UWC railway holding) is working to fulfil an order for 100 specialised methanol tank cars placed by chemical company Shchekinoazot. The entire order is expected to be completed by the end of July this year.
The 15-6880 tank car model having an increased payload capacity of 73 t and a tank volume of 88 m3, is equipped with a 25 t axle load bogie. The tank's increased useable volume provides for up to 2 tons of additional load per car compared to standard commonly used models. The overhaul mileage for this tank car model is 1 million km, several times above that of railcars built to an axle load of 23.5 t. As a result, maintenance costs over the UWC car's entire life cycle are significantly lower.
Transporting methanol in tank cars produced at TikhvinChemMash allows the rolling stock operator and the freight owner to reduce their transport expenses, fleet maintenance costs, and as a whole, to boost the efficiency of their freight shipments.
Methanol is notorious as a highly hazardous substance, which imposes many restrictions on the rolling stock used for its transportation. In order to meet environmental protection standards and ensure that humans are not exposed to any of its harmful effects, the TikhvinChemMash tank cars are equipped with state-of-the-art safety valves with a foil-clad rupture disc, preventing exposure of the methanol and its vapours to the environment. Another key design feature of the railcar is its special loading and discharge valves, located in the upper part of the tank car. The entire valve fitting is closed with a sliding cap fitted with a locking device to provide additional protection against unauthorized access to the hazardous freight.
Since 2013, UWC has delivered 396 tank cars to Shchekinoazot for the transportation of liquid chemicals and 80 hopper cars for the transportation of mineral fertilizers on bogies with a 25 t axle load.
Eugenia Khomyakova, General Director at SPA Azot (part of Shchekinoazot) said: “Our enterprise is looking to build its fleet of high-quality rolling stock that meets regulations and standards applicable to the transportation of hazardous goods. UWC tank cars are very reliable in terms of operation, and have reinforcements built into the design, which contributes to the safe transportation of methanol. Using TikhvinChemMash-produced tank cars for transporting methanol allows us to organise the most efficient possible transportation of the product.”
The current range of railcar models produced at the TikhvinChemMash plant comprises over 10 models of tank car and their modifications, including those used for the transportation of methanol, ammonia, technical-grade sulphuric acid, LPG, oil and petroleum products among others, as well as those using tanks made from aluminium and corrosion-resistant steel for the transportation of a wide range of chemical freight (concentrated nitric acid, caustic soda, molten sulphur, formalin, calcium chloride, ethylene glycol, potassium hydroxide, liquid complex fertilizers etc.) and food products (molasses and vegetable oils, ethyl alcohol).