Innovative Freight Car Discussion at the Russian Government's Analytics Center
The renewal of the Russian freight car fleet with innovative cars is not as quick as expected, the Gudok reports from the Round Table arranged at the Russian Government Analytics Center. The reasons are systematic issues; Governmental support might result in freight car acquisition reduction in the mid-term.
One of the key problems of the innovative freight car market is a gap between potential demand and car manufacturers’ forecasts. Plants have sufficient facilities while customers do not buy the amount equal to these capacities. “Both the Russian Government and OAO RZD have clearly defined their positions: the rolling stock with increased axial load has to be used wherever it can be used”, Infoline-Analytica General Director Mikhail Burmistrov said. “However, if we take a look at the dynamics of the innovative freight car introduction to the market, we will see that it lags behind the freight car manufacturers’ forecasts”. As a result, only Tikhvin Car-Building Plant (TVSZ) is working at nearly 100% of its capacity. Altaivagon is working at 30-40% and Uralvagonzavod - at 15% of its capacity. “The problem is that plants are loss-bringing if they are working at less than 50% of their capacity”, Mr. Burmistrov concluded.
Another problem is a lack of maintenance and repair system for innovative freight cars. That means “supplying spare parts in sufficient quantities, developing warehousing network to optimize spare part delivery to repair locations, timely manufacture of the required spares”, Freight One Deputy General Director Sergey Goncharov said.
TVSZ has the best performance in minimal repair time and availability, SUEK, Russia’s largest coal company, noted. “To achieve these results we have established a wide service network”, TVSZ Deputy General Director Dmitry Losev explained. “Over 50 service centers are operated at the 1520 mm gauge network; maintenance documentation is drafted, learning centers are established at operation depots and educational institutions. We have prepared for repairs of all the new-generation freight cars at our service HQ”.