Dieser Text ist auf Englisch.

In a recent publication, we talked about covered, open, and flat wagons. Exploring this topic further with our series of railway articles, today we will discuss a certain type of rolling stock — Rail-Cars.


In Europe and the CIS, there are a variety of types, which differ in platform design and load-carrying capacity. More specifically, rail-cars can be divided into the following categories:

    ● Platform
    ● Flat
    ● Depressed
    ● Connected
    ● Articulated

Each type of rail-car is ideally suited for specific cargoes. For example, platform and connected rail-cars are appropriate for long loads (24–63 m), whereas flat designs effectively carry both high and long loads (up to 11 m). Also, different types of rail-cars have varying levels of carrying capacity: from 55 to 500 tonnes. At the same time, there are also “light” and “heavy” variations. Light rail-cars have 4 or 8 axles, carry up to 120 tonnes of cargo, and are more widely spread than heavy cars with a load capacity that ranges from 220 to 500 tonnes.

Here we will explain light rail-cars in more detail. They are depicted in the figures below.

4-axle flat rail-car (capacity 55 tonnes), cond. model 14-Т116


* Dimensions in parentheses refers to loaded cars

4-axle platform rail-car (64 tonnes), cond. Model 14-Т302
rail car
4-axle depressed rail-car (61 tonnes), cond. model 14-Т6062
rail car

Besides 4-axle rail-cars, 8-axle ones are also used for carrying 110–120 tonnes of cargo, as well as 8-axle connected rail-cars for long loads.

8-axle connected rail-car (120 tonnes), cond. model 14-6054
rail car

Light rail-cars are quite popular, so it is generally easy to find them for your transportation needs. However, it is extremely important to follow a fixed order of protocol. First of all, you should choose an appropriate rail-car for your particular cargo—where possible, bulkiness can be minimised. You also have to prepare the transportation drawing of the cargo on the selected rail-car type. This will allow you to obtain approval from the Russian Railways Offices and The Department of Special Transportation. Finally, it is better to order a car in advance, so that it will be ready to be loaded in the right place at the right time.

In comparison to light rail-cars, heavy ones are used much less frequently. They are available only after gaining approval from the Russian Railways Department of Special Transportation. To use them for carrying cargo, begin preparations in good time, no later than six months before the scheduled date for transportation. It is critical that heavy rail-cars with 20 or more axes are used for transportation only when they follow a separate locomotive with a piloting support team. Rail-cars with 12 axles or less may also be incorporated into freight trains. The basic models are shown in the figures below.

12-axle connected rail-car (120 tonnes), cond. model 14-Т051
rail car

16-axle flat rail-car (225 tonnes), cond. model 14-6011
rail car

20-axle articulated rail-car (300 tonnes), cond. model 14-Т006 (also provided with a 10 m long platform-beam: This changes carrying capacity to 250 tonnes)

rail car

32-axle connected rail-car (480 tonnes), cond. model 14-Т051
rail car

32-axle articulated rail-car (500 tonnes), cond. model 14-Т001
rail car

All types of rail-cars that we have discussed are pretty familiar to the GUS-TRANS specialists. Typically, with their help, we arrange the transportation of unique cargoes weighing up to 500 tonnes, including oversized loads up to H-8880 (oversize index). This includes transportation of oversized cargo by rail with a full range of preparatory measures: testing the route through the check carriage frame, negotiating the transportation route, drafting transportation drawings and developing individual carriage frames for unconventional cargo.

Transportation with rail-cars is an extended and peculiar topic. In this article, we only touched upon the key aspects, but we will happily answer any questions you may have in regards to the subject, especially if you are looking to use a rail-car for the first time.

Contact us any way you like: call us, write an e-mail or come and meet at the office. We will give you free advice, create a critical project review, and explain what steps you will need to take in order to get prepared, and get the process underway.