As part of a network meeting held by Russian Railways to sum up the results of its business operations, senior rolling stock managers at RZD’s Central Directorate for Infrastructure have come to Tikhvin to visit the UWC’s production site and discuss their experience of operating new generation freight cars.
Over 30 RZD representatives including heads of rolling stock departments from across all territorial railway branches, who directly manage the operation of new generation cars, visited the casting and assembly facilities at Tikhvin Freight Car Building Plant and TikhvinChemMash (tank car manufacturer). Following a tour of the production facilities, the senior rolling stock managers were introduced to new R&D projects pursued by United Wagon Company in freight car manufacturing, including a gondola with a capacity of 83 tonnes, an articulated tank car for LPG transportation with a body capacity of 163.1 m3, as well as an upgraded freight car with an increased axle load.
The meeting focused on the experience of operating freight cars and discussed ways to improve the performance and maintenance of the rolling stock featuring innovative bogies. The participants agreed to launch a database containing lists of spare parts and component availability data across UWC’s network of service centres to support maintenance of new generation freight cars. To further improve maintenance of innovative freight cars and reduce their idle time in current uncoupling repair, efforts will be continued to build up own warehouses of necessary components at freight car maintenance depots.
Mikhail Sapetov, Acting Head at RZD’s Rolling Stock Management Department, said: “In modern world, effective communication communication is an essential element of relationship building. We need to establish strong communication channels both within Russian Railways and with a wider stakeholder community: new generation freight car manufacturers, operators and repair companies. We need to align our efforts to maximise the benefits of operating the fleet of freight cars. Today, one of our key tasks is to create conditions that facilitate the development of service networks to support maintenance of innovative rolling stock and its components, which will allow us to fully tap the potential of using innovative vehicles on the railway network.”
Dmitry Losev, Deputy CEO for Technological Development at UWC, noted: “Our preparations for the event focused on obtaining feedback about our products. Expert views “from a front line”, from infrastructure managers directly involved in railcar operation, maintenance and repairs will help us anticipate possible bottlenecks going forward and take pro-active action to eliminate them. Creating a positive “feedback loop” between the infrastructure and the manufacturer will definitely contribute to a more efficient use of the railway network capacity through the operation of new generation freight cars. Therefore, the expertise we have acquired needs to be replicated across the network.”