For competitive growth in all market segments of freight car production RPC “United Wagon Company” expands the model range of the manufactured rolling stock and at the same time increases freight car specialization. The diversification of the product line allows to respond to the changing market demand and to deliver benefits in product customization in order to meet customers’ requirements. The company is planning to increase the portfolio of certified modifications of new generation freight cars from 26 units in 2015 up to 56 in 2018.
United Wagon Company on the basis of its own All-Union Research and Development Centre for Transportation Technology (VNICTT) implements the development programme of new models for innovative rolling stock and advanced manufacturing technologies. Potential customers from metallurgical, mining, agricultural, petroleum, chemical, machine-building and other industries take part in the engineering process. They express their design and performance requirements to the rolling stock under development.
The demand for specialized (product-oriented) rolling stock is supposed to increase in years to come. According to market experts, there are 441.5 thousand specialized freight cars in operation at Russian Railways network at the moment. About 92.6 thousand freight cars have their life cycle expired, and the life cycle of 49.9 thousand cars will be almost over in the next 5 years. It should be noted that the fleet of specialized cars has not been updated over the last 20 years, and car deterioration level in some segments amounts up to 90%. Under these circumstances, RPC UWC focuses on specialized car manufacturing.
RPC UWC expects to get compliance certificates for the manufacture of product-oriented rolling stock until the end of 2015. These are certificates for hopper car for cement with 79-ton payload capacity and body space up to 72 m³. In addition, approval testing is being held for a solid-bottom gondola with increased body space to 98 m³, a hopper car for the transportation of grain with body space of 126 m³, and a box car with body space of 175 m³ and with payload capacity of 72.5 tons. These cars are equipped with bogies of increased axle load of 25 tf and know no equals in their technical and economic features in the market.
The manufacture of diversified range of new generation tank cars is setting up for launch. More than 15 car models and their modifications, which have no comparable counterparts in the Russian market, are in manufacturing plan. Some models of tank cars equipped with bogies of 25 tf are undergoing acceptance composite tests. Among them, there is a sulphuric acid tank car with load capacity increased up to 77 tons and a methanol tank car, which has a specific design of the tank shell with bent axis, which is distinct from the existing rolling stock, and the design of which ensures its completeness drain. A prototype of the caustic soda tank car has been manufactured. A tank car for all types of chemical commodities with a tank shell made of aluminum alloy is being developed, as well as a molten sulfur tank car with the tank shell made of rust-resisting steel, of higher load capacity and increased tank shell capacity, equipped with bogies with 25-ton axle load.
During 2016-17, there will be organized mass production of multi-purpose and special-purpose platforms for unitized freights, double-deckers for wheeled and crawled vehicles of 40 ft. loading length, platforms of 40 and 60 ft. loading length for carrying timber and for 40, 60 and 80 ft. containers with load capacity up to 80 tons. The research and development center is also planning to develop specialized platforms for pipes, steel, tube strips, dump cars with automatic dump of large-capacity bulky freights and transporter cars for oversized and heavy load cargoes.
RPC UWC manages upgrading of the present types of cars and puts new design solutions into life (use of high strength steels, aluminum alloys and composite materials). The development of six-axle articulated car with extended life on 25-tf axle load bogies is in progress. The VNICTT design of the bogie with 27-tf axle load and of a gondola for bulk commodities (coal, ore, crushed stone) with 20%-increased load capacity and clearance will become one of fundamentally new steps in Russian car building. It will help to increase significantly the shipping dimensions in one freight car, and as a result will reduce the fleet need of cargo companies. At that, dynamic impact of wagons with bogies of 27-tf axle load on rails will size up with the impact of the rolling stock in operation.
The introduction of the innovative bogie as well as the use of modern car building technologies (articulated wagons, cars with increased cubic capacity etc.) establish great economic lead and technical advantages of new generation cars over the standard rolling stock.