21 Jun 2022 12:58

NTC proposes to solve issue of eastern railways capacity with new generation freight cars

MOSCOW. June 21 (Interfax) - National Transportation Company (NTC), which combines the transport assets of EuroChem and SUEK, has proposed to solve the problem of insufficient throughput capacity on Russia's eastern railways by using new generation freight cars, which would make it possible to added up to 10 million tonnes of freight in just one year.

The proposal was made by NTC chief executive Mikhail Kuznetsov at a meeting in the Federation Council on the development of eastern railway infrastructure on Monday.

"It is extremely clear that we [market participants] are not quite ready for such a sudden reorientation of transport flows, and so there are far more who want to go to the East than there is capacity and the issue bumps up against years of investment," Kuznetsov said.

One measure that could quickly help boost the throughput capacity of railway infrastructure would be to increase the number of new generation railcars used in shipments along eastern railways, he said.

"I seems to me that there are measures that can be taken now in order to significantly increase the throughput capacity of eastern railways, although it is, perhaps, not that easy to carry out these measures, but these are administrative measures and there is no need here for some sort of state support, taxes, simplification, allocation of money from the budget and so on," Kuznetsov said.

At present, only about 40% of all gondola cars on eastern railways are new generation, and this share could be increased significantly, he said. In addition to increased capacity, new generation railcars have better performance and do not require as many inspections as standard freight cars, he said.

"If we launch new generation cars instead of standard ones, then less of this resource, both technological and human, is needed," Kuznetsov said, adding that such a decision would add "at least 10 million tonnes" to throughput capacity in a year.

For this to happen, conditions need to be created that would motivate operators and shippers to use such new generation freight cars, he said.