Geschmeidig wie ein Regenwurm schlängelt sich der Langschienentransport von Österreich nach Ungarn.

Transporting unwelded, ultra-long rails

14. 09. 2018

In the steelworks, they become what they are. They’re installed all over the world. When they’re transported, sometimes even the most hard-boiled railway expert is left breathless. A spectacle you don’t get to see every day.

You might expect a fair degree of excitement when 120 meter-long rails from Leoben Donawitz, the birthplace of rails, are transported to Hungary. But not with the specialists of the Rail Cargo Group. Because they know exactly what they’re doing.

The ultra-long, unwelded rails, each weighing 6.5 tonnes, need not one but six wagons to be transported. Thirty-six rails can fit onto one set of flat wagons. A train consists of two sets, which means a total load of up to 500 tonnes of rails. Before the journey starts, however, comes the all-important load securing process. The employees, who are responsible for loading the rails safely onto the wagons, have to keep a cool head. If a fastening is not tightened exactly and with the required clamping force, this can have a negative effect on the material of the rails during the journey. Together with the logistics experts, the steel giant has therefore developed a special loading and transport device. The rails must not be fixed too rigidly but also not too loosely, as they require a certain amount of flexibility during the ride. In addition, the rails are under maximum tension, as the 120 metre-long rails inevitably have to bend in the curves on the track.

From Leoben, we travel across Austria to Hungary in cooperation with our Hungarian subsidiary, Rail Cargo Hungaria. Two 1116 series high-performance locomotives are also required to provide the necessary traction. The double traction arrangement  thus delivers 20,000 bhp to the rails.

The train snakes its way through the landscape. The journey for the rails ends in Budapest. A 60-kilometre section of the Hungarian railway network between Budapest and Pusztaszabolcs and a 65-kilometre section of track between Budapest and Hatvan are being modernised. To this end, premium-quality rails with a total length of 420 kilometres will be laid.

Transport is a prime example of how the logistics know-how of our employees and the expertise of our customer are bundled together and used for an unusual rail transport, thus providing convincing, reliable logistics solutions.