National Railways of Zimbabwe and United Wagon Company signed an agreement for the supply of 100 gondola cars with solid bottoms which will operate on the 1067-mm gauge network. The gondola cars are planned to be used for cross-border shipments of coals, chrome ore and grains in big-bags.
The railcars will be delivered within 12 months after the NRZ acquires a respective export loan through the assistance of UWC. Under the agreement, UWC will deliver a batch of spare parts, special tools and testing equipment. The Russian company will also provide the NRZ with a range of after sales support services including training of the local staff to perform railcar maintenance operations, both at the Tikhvin production site and at the place of their use in Zimbabwe.
The loading capacity of the car will be 54 tonnes, and it will have a body volume of 65 m3. The car will be fitted with 18.6-t axle load bogies.
The solid bottom gondola car will be designed in compliance with international standards and special requirements associated with freight car operation in subequatorial and tropical climate zones on the 1067-mm gauge track in Central and South Africa.
In the future, the National Railways of Zimbabwe plans to modernise and renovate its railcar fleet and is ready to negotiate for different railcar types including tank cars, flat cars and box cars. In addition, the two companies intend to setup a network of railcar maintenance and assembly facilities.