3 April 2019

Standard or Innovation? What to Choose?

Dmitry Losev, Deputy CEO for Technical Development of First Heavy Haul Company (PTK) has conducted an analysis of the operation of Tikhvin cars with an increased capacity. At the seminar “Rolling Stock: Production, Operation and Repair” organized by RZD-Partner magazine and held on March 29, 2019 in Moscow, the senior executive presented the results of the analysis and explained why PTK selects cars with improved technical and economic properties.

According to Dmitry Losev, operation statistics indicates that Tikhvin cars have an average of 3.3 uncouplings over the course of 800 thousand km of mileage. Moreover, 81% of uncouplings occur due to wheelset turning, i. e. current repair is associated with natural operational reasons. The remaining 19% comprise automatic brakes, body/frame, axle box, bogie and coupler.

An important task for all market participants is to increase car maintenance efficiency and reduce unscheduled uncouplings for current uncoupling repairs. A “Program for Reduction of the Number of Freight Car Uncouplings for Current Uncoupling Repairs” has been developed in order to accomplish this task and approved by Valentin Gapanovich, President of the Union of Industries of Railway Equipment (NP OPZT). Dmitry Losev demonstrated the efficiency of intermediate repair, proposed for execution after 500 thousand km of car mileage, on the example of new generation cars. Such repairs “halfway” between scheduled repairs in terms of mileage involves turning of all wheelsets under a car, installation of new brake blocks and inspection of other car sections. This provides an almost three-fold reduction of the number of uncouplings not only related to wheel pairs, but also due to other malfunctions, which can be caused by factors occurring in the course of such a significant car mileage. As a result, the number of unscheduled repairs can be reduced by almost a third. In Dmitry Losev’s opinion, this maintenance approach is feasible not only for new generation fleet, but also for all freight car models available in the network.

A comparison of the total cost of gondola car maintenance for 1 million km of mileage demonstrated that a new generation car requires half the value of investments as compared to a standard car. The savings are associated with the application of more advanced technical solutions and reliable components in the innovative cars. An increased overhaul life of wheelsets provides a significant cost reduction, which is particularly relevant in the current conditions of a shortage of all-rolled wheels on the market.

Summarizing the above, Dmitry Losev emphasized that “By using Tikhvin cars, PTK ensures higher loading, farther transportation and less frequent repairs. The holding made a decision in favor of modern cars — and the choice was correct”.