PJSC TransContainer has launched a project to transport coal in open-top containers to overcome the rail gauge changes on the Zabaikalsk-Manzhouli border crossing point.
The first train loaded with 3,960t of coal was dispatched on 26 January. The train was loaded at Priargunsk station, reached Zabaikalsk-Manzhouli crossing point in less than a day and then transferred to the container Chinese party. The second train consisting of empty open top containers for the transport of 120 TEU of coal was prepared and dispatched from Manzhouli station to Priargunsk station.
TransContainer, owned by Delo Group, said the move is another example of the ongoing expansion of its cargo base in container transport on the back of cargo that was traditionally transported by other kinds of rolling stock.
The transport of coal in containers has a number of advantages. Faster transhipment of the loaded rolling stock via the border-crossing points can be achieved and it makes it unnecessary to tranship the cargo to railway rolling stock of narrower gauge, which solves the problem of frozen coal causing the wagon to idle for several days in winter.
Wagons owners and lessors in Russia have complained for years about the damage done to the wagons by operators ‘banging’ the grabs onto frozen coal in order to break it up so it can be grabbed. It also damages the rail tracks. This is another mayor issue overcome.
The transport of coal in containers also ensures less environmental damage compared to transport in wagons with numerous transhipments, which causes high coal dust emissions.
“This technology significantly decreases burden on infrastructure, allowing us to increase the cargo flow speed,” said Aleksandrs Isurins, president of PJSC TransContainer.
“At the same time, it is also worth mentioning that most consignors of coal product already have the equipment necessary for coal loading into open top containers, since there are no major differences between coal loading in high-sided wagon and coal loading in containers.”
The company added that it is working out regular dispatches for block trains loaded with coal over the Priargunsk- Zabaikalsk route, and it plans to increase the volume of shipments to 13,000t a month.