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Covered, Open and Flat Wagons in Rail Freight Transport

29.03.2018

Cargo: Standard and Oversized

Cargo is classified standard when the following requirements are met. With the packaging and fastening included, it must not exceed the loading gauge, provided that a wagon is set on a straight horizontal track (and the longitudinal axis of the rolling stock and track lie in the same vertical plane).

If cargo placed in an open rolling stock on a straight horizontal track (and the longitudinal axis of the wagon and track lie in the same vertical plane) exceeds the loading gauge (or its over-ranging on curved tracks exceeds the geometric reach of a given wagon), then it is oversized.

You can see it in Fig. 1.

 

Transporting mass standard cargo requires standard rolling stock with the 1520 mm gauge: covered, open, and flat wagons. Let’s go through them in detail.

 

Covered Wagons

These are used for transferring piece, grain, and other standard-size freight that needs to be protected from precipitation. There exist three major types of covered wagons:

4-axle covered wagon (with metal end wall), model 11-066

Covered, Open and Flat Wagons in Rail Freight Transport

 4-axle all-metal wagon with end platform and broadened doorway openings, model 11-264

Covered, Open and Flat Wagons in Rail Freight Transport

 4-axle all-metal covered wagon with broadened doorway openings, model 11-270

Covered, Open and Flat Wagons in Rail Freight Transport

Their main advantage is the ability to cover transported cargo. Even though the technicalities and specifications are practically the same for all covered wagons (64–68 tonnes of lifting capacity, 120–138 m3 of cubic capacity), they share one prominent drawback: transported cargo is limited by the size of loading gates (2000×2343 mm / 3802×2343 mm). Nonetheless, covered wagons are perfect for transferring standard freight (pallets, big bags, bundles, boxes, rolls, etc.). If loaded and secured properly, such cargo can be safely transported effectively and securely over long distances.

 

Open Wagons

These wagons are meant for transporting bulk cargo, lumpy goods and other freight that does not require weather protection whilst in transit. Below are the four main types of open wagons.

4-axle all-metal open wagon, model 12-1000

Covered, Open and Flat Wagons in Rail Freight Transport

4-axle all-metal open wagon with blind end walls, model 12-119

Covered, Open and Flat Wagons in Rail Freight Transport

6-axle all-metal open wagon, model 12-П152

Covered, Open and Flat Wagons in Rail Freight Transport

8-axle open wagon, model 12-508

Covered, Open and Flat Wagons in Rail Freight Transport

Having no roof or cover is the main disadvantage of open wagons, and the freight is subject to precipitation and the elements. On the plus side, open wagons can easily carry larger pieces of cargo that would otherwise be unable to fit through the doors of covered wagons.

Given the size of open wagon loading platforms (from 12.11×2.87 m to 18.7×2.79 m with a carrying capacity that ranges from 69 to 125 tonnes), they can efficaciously transport various bulky pieces (large boxes, pipes, beams, etc.) and oversized cargo. If you pre-agree on packaging, it can help to minimise bulkiness of the cargo and thus optimise carriage costs.

 

Uncovered Flat Wagons

Uncovered flat wagons usually carry wheeled and track vehicles, piece cargo, timber, and other goods that do not require protection from the weather. Their design allows heavy standard loads and oversized cargoes of up to 13–19 meters in length to be transported, and they support load weights of up to 70–73 tonnes. It is extremely important to focus attention on fastening configurations. The main types of flat wagons include the following:

4-axle flat wagon with metal side walls, model 13-401

Covered, Open and Flat Wagons in Rail Freight Transport

4-axle universal flat wagon with extended side walls, model 13-4012

Covered, Open and Flat Wagons in Rail Freight Transport

4-axle univesal flat wagon, model 13-926

Covered, Open and Flat Wagons in Rail Freight Transport

Here we have discussed the main types of standard rolling stock. In further articles we will take a closer look at transporters, and cover a selection of transport trends for standard and oversized cargo. We at GUS-TRANS have been working on rail transportation in CIS, Europe and other regions of the world for over a decade. If you want to learn more about the topic or have a question, just leave a comment or contact us directly, and we will reply promptly to your enquiry.

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