For the first time, Ukrainian Railways has independently produced a hopper car for grain and other bulk cargo transport. All components and materials are from Ukraine, excepting the brake equipment.
The 19-6938 experimental model has a volume of 120 m³ which is the largest capacity of the existing company’s rolling stock fleet which has a maximum capacity of 94 m³. The car is designed for speeds of 120 km/h.
The car was developed and manufactured by company’s Panyutinsky car-repair plant. After tests were carried out, it was obtained a certificate of compliance with the requirements of the technical specifications for its manufacture. According to Ukrzaliznytsya, the serial production will be soon launched.
“This new hopper car has been introduced into the international classifier of freight cars, being compliant with the needed requirements in CIS and Baltic countries. For Ukrzaliznytsya this is an epoch-making event, because the company has never built hopper cars for grain transport. This year we will provide Panyutin plant the needed financing for the serial production,” Yevhen Kravtsov, the CEO of Ukrzaliznytsya, said.
Last year, Ukrzaliznytsya expanded its grain hopper car fleet by 22%, representing 3,300 cars and currently operates 18,500 hopper cars. The company’s CEO said that intends to increase the number of daily consignments from 10% to 20%, which will cover 80% of the existing fleet.
To increase grain transport, Ukrzaliznytsya is using EBRD and EIB funds for the electrification of the railway line linking country’s largest grain port in Mykolaiv, with a total length of 253 km. The project concerns the electrification, laying of a new second track, development of tracks layout within stations, along with the modernization of interlocking, signalling and telecommunication system in stations and on open lines, of the Dolynska – Mykolaiv – Kolosivka railway line in Southern Ukraine. At the beginning of January, the EBRD announced the provision of a EUR 150 million loan for the project, which is also financially supported by a similar-sized EIB loan and by EU’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility, with EUR 6.8 million grant.
The aim of the project is to improve the capacity of these existing rail lines, which offer railway connections between country’s industrial and agricultural areas and key ports.
To expand its rolling stock fleet, open-top wagons are most demanded type of freight cars. Ukrzaliznytsya intends to purchase 6,000 – 6,500 of new wagons. USD 260 million is the total value of the project, which will be financed by a USD 150 million EBRD loan and through its own source.