Russia-based United Wagon Company (UWC) has secured a contract from chemical company Metafrax to deliver 105 tank cars with increased loading capacity.

UWC’s TikhvinChemMash tank wagon business will start production of the new tank cars by the end of this year, while they will enter into service in phases beginning in 2016.

The new rolling stock has been designed in cooperation with Metafrax, which will use them for the transportation of methanol and its derivatives.

Claimed to be having improved commercial and operational features compared with market analogues, the new tank cars will have 25t axleload bogies, with the 71.5t or 94m³ capacity being higher than existing designs.

The company noted that the fittings enclosure provides convenient operation and integrity of freight during transportation.

"Joint development of a batch of tank cars should become the start of our cooperation with UWC."

The new wagons have been designed for a service life of 32 years.

It is estimated that about 15,000 Russian tank cars or about 40% of the total fleet used for the transportation of chemical freight, will reach the end of their life by 2020.

UWC sales and development deputy CEO Alexander Lukyanenko said: "We have just started developing the direction of tank cars. However, even at present, we see that that interest, which many companies show towards innovative tank cars, demonstrates the necessity of changes in the tank cars’ segment and the timeliness of our entry into the market.

"In the coming years, a significant part of chemical tank cars’ fleet will be written-off due to the expiration of the service life.

Metafrax currently has a fleet of about 900 tank cars for the transportation of methanol. The new batch will be the fifth part of the fleet, required to be upgraded.

The chemical firm is also planning to order Type 15-6900-01 stainless-steel tank wagons for transporting formaldehyde.

Metafrax CEO Vladimir Daut said: "We intend to significantly increase the production and sales volumes as part of a strategy of the group of companies’ business development until 2030. A separate line of the investment budget, it is the improvement of the infrastructure, the upgrade of railway-fleet on a phased basis.

"Of course, we are interested in the new-generation rolling stock, possessing a high degree of reliability. Joint development of a batch of tank cars should become the start of our cooperation with UWC."

Image: UWC’s TikhvinChemMash will supply 105 methanol tanks to Metafrax. Photo: courtesy of United Wagon Company.