Inspired by the power animal ant, lifting a multiple of its own body weight, the innovative platform wagon TransANT convinces by its modular lightweight construction concept, which enables more volume per transport.
In addition, different superstructures on the standardized platform enable customer-oriented adaptations to various logistical requirements. Together with voestalpine, we put the wagon innovation on track.
Leitung Business Development
voestalpine Steel Division
Rail Cargo Group: The production of the revolutionary TransANT platform wagon starts. Why has it been decided to implement this project together with RCG and what is so special about this wagon innovation for voestalpine?
Werner Dressler: voestalpine and ÖBB have a long-standing partnership, which ranges from the sale of complete system solutions in the area of railway infrastructure to the purchase of transport services. Therefore, it was obvious to cooperate with Rail Cargo Group in the construction of innovative freight wagons. The special feature of this project was that the lightweight construction know-how, which voestalpine had acquired over almost 20 years in the automotive sector, had been transferred to wagon construction for the first time.
RCG: Why is it interesting for voestalpine to participate in freight wagon development?
Werner Dressler: The Steel Division of the voestalpine Group is convinced that customers outside the automotive industry can also benefit from high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels and the associated know-how. Lightweight construction begins with design. In existing constructions, simply replacing the steel with a higher-strength steel is too little and does not usually lead to the desired result – namely a significant weight reduction.
RCG: TransANT was developed in close cooperation between the two companies. What was the role of voestalpine, for which part was RCG responsible?
Werner Dressler: RCG was in charge of the technical development and design, voestalpine was responsible for application technology consulting. This includes our knowledge of materials, forming behavior and welding technology. Of course, we also provided the tailor-made materials for prototype construction and the approval tests.
RCG: Which special materials are used in the production of TransANT and what is special about the material?
Werner Dressler: So far, the simplest structural steels have been used in wagon construction, with maximum strengths of 355 MPa. Some of the steels used in the TransANT have double the strength. As a result, sheet thicknesses can be reduced and the weight of the frame construction can be reduced by more than 20 percent. This is of great importance, as there is a maximum permissible total weight on the rail – similar to that on the road. What can be saved in the weight of the wagon itself can be loaded more, so that a significant increase in efficiency can be achieved.
RCG: The first 30 TranANT go to voestalpine. What do you expect from this wagon innovation for your business?
Werner Dressler: Strictly speaking, there are 60 wagons that are used in the form of short-coupled double wagons. Our logistics subsidiary, LogServ GmbH, will use these wagons to transport ore between Eisenerz in Styria and Linz. Three to four block trains run daily on this route. Due to the lower dead weight of the wagons, more ore can be loaded. Calculated over the year, we need about 100 block trains less to transport the same amount of iron ore to Linz.