Railway Technology Deal Signed

VedomostiAmsted Rails technology will enable the transportation of heavier loads.

United Wagon Company has signed anagreement with U.S. company Amsted Rail andreceived full intellectual property rights toits Motion Control bogie design, which theRussian manufacturer can also license toother companies.

Thepartners also agreed toestablish ajoint venture fordesigning andmanufacturing freight car components, Vedomosti reported Friday.

Amsted Rail earlier offered therail car technology toanother wagon company, Uralvagonzavod, but it claimed test performance was unsatisfactory anddecided touse its own designs.

Thenew model, which can accommodate loads up to25 tons per axle, was specifically adapted byAmsted Rail engineers forfreight railcars operating onthe 1520 millimeter gauge tracks used inRussia andother former Soviet countries.

Conventional freight wagons have alower axle load, with average upper limits ofabout 23 tons.

Heavier freight load means lower transportation costs forcarriers but will require rail infrastructure upgrades.

Thegovernment has prepared aprogram ofheavy freight transport development inRussia andis considering granting discounts tocompanies that buy wagons capable ofcarrying heavier loads, news reports said.

Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov said earlier that increasing railway load capacity ontracks between thecoal mining region ofKuzbass andRussia's sea ports should be considered agovernment priority.

Coal is themain freight transported via Russian Railways andthe cargo is avital source ofincome forthe train monopoly.

Although traffic ofiron-based metals, construction materials, grain andother goods saw adecline involumes, according tothe company's most recent half year results, coal operations saw low, steady growth.