The lightweight 70ft wagon is 20% lighter than an equivalent wagon and as a result can offer around 4 tonnes greater payload.The wagon’s baseframe, which is central to the reduced weight, utilises a high-strength but lightweight L-form 550 and 700 steel provided by Voestalpine, which is 1cm thick compared with 2cm in a conventional wagon. Cutting of the steel and manufacturing of the wagon was conducted by the TS Slovakia joint venture of OBB Tech Service and Zos Trnava.

In addition, the wagon also offers central buffer coupling making it suitable for single wagon operation while it can also be used on marshalling humps at yards. In addition, the developers have worked with Wacon, a supplier of tarpaulins for truck applications, to develop similar system for a rail application. This improves the flexibility of loading with users able to open the roof for 17 of the 21m length of the wagon.

Rail Cargo Wagon executive director, Mr Andreas Redling, told IRJ that offering a wagon that is comparable or cheaper than existing products was critical to the project. Redling said 14 prototypes have been manufactured as part of the pre-series project and he expects operations with the new wagons to begin by the end of the year, and completion of the initial project with Voestalpine consisting of 30 wagons in 2019. A a commercial application will be available in 2021 although Redling admits it is unlikely that Rail Cargo Wagon will become a wagon manufacturer with discussions on the best way to proceed underway.

The wagon’s baseframe offers significant weight savings.