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Railway Technology Deal Signed

Amsted Rail’s technology will enable the transportation of heavier loads. Denis Grishkin

United Wagon Company has signed an agreement with U.S. company Amsted Rail and received full intellectual property rights to its Motion Control bogie design, which the Russian manufacturer can also license to other companies.

The partners also agreed to establish a joint venture for designing and manufacturing freight car components, Vedomosti reported Friday.

Amsted Rail earlier offered the rail car technology to another wagon company, Uralvagonzavod, but it claimed test performance was unsatisfactory and decided to use its own designs.

The new model, which can accommodate loads up to 25 tons per axle, was specifically adapted by Amsted Rail engineers for freight railcars operating on the 1520 millimeter gauge tracks used in Russia and other former Soviet countries.

Conventional freight wagons have a lower axle load, with average upper limits of about 23 tons.

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

The government has prepared a program of heavy freight transport development in Russia and is considering granting discounts to companies that buy wagons capable of carrying heavier loads, news reports said.

Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov said earlier that increasing railway load capacity on tracks between the coal mining region of Kuzbass and Russia's sea ports should be considered a government priority.

Coal is the main freight transported via Russian Railways and the cargo is a vital source of income for the train monopoly.

Although traffic of iron-based metals, construction materials, grain and other goods saw a decline in volumes, according to the company's most recent half year results, coal operations saw low, steady growth.

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