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Thread: Bulk Rail Transport

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 03

    bulk rail transport

    Hello Everybody

    Our china clay product has a humidity of about 12- 13% and we are looking for a way to transport it in silo-rail-waggons. Ase we have already (negatively) tested "normal" silo-waggons we search for a rail waggon which may be tiltable.

    Thanks for any answers or ideas.


  2. #2
    Mark Kilfoil Guest


    Hello THH

    Were the wagons you tested bottom discharge ?

    Which axis do you want your wagons to tilt about and by how much ?

    The railways in South Africa have wagons which can be rotated approx. 160 degrees about their longitudinal axis and others which can be tilted approx. 30 degrees about an axis passing through the axle at either end.

    Hope this helps.

    Mark Kilfoil
    Technikon Witwatersrand
    South Africa

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 02
    Dear Mr. THH

    Mikalen Pty. Ltd manufactures a new concept in bulk commodity transport .

    The device is an ISO platform type container of standard dimensions which has been adapted for the transport of general bulk commodities. coal, limestone, mineral concentrates etc. The units have intermodal capability which enables them to be transferred from rail to road or ocean transport using conventional container handling equipment.

    The container carries on-board hydraulic actuation which allows it to discharge its contents at the chosen destination by side tipping in a way unlike any other container available in the world.

    The unitswill be offered in a variety of standard configurations to meet the needs of end users including 20'and 30' length containers in 8', 8'6" and 9'6" heights, special half-height and bi-lateral tipping units will be available for very dense commodities such as mineral concentrates. No special purpose rolling stock and expensive wagon dumping devices are required and the containers will discharge by side tipping from container transport rail wagons or road transport vehicles without instability with a tipping angle of about 45 degrees.

    It should be noted also that these can be amalgamated into a truck chassis as we have already proposed for woodchip rolling stock. This approach will provide the functionality of the container concept at reduced tare weight but without the demountable body.

    Please visit our web site at for more

    Kind regards

    John Hanna
    Managing Director

  4. Dear Mr. THH

    What is the distance of rail transport? If it is long distance, then it is better to transport it by standard rail wagons and use suitable wagon tippler at destination. If it is captive facility, like transport near mining area, then one can think of specialised wagons. But who will manufacture such wagons? Will railway authority allow movement of such wagons on their track? Faulty wagon can spoil track, become cause for direct / indirect accident with nation-wide uproar.

    In India all bulk materials (like coal, ore etc.) transport is by standard open wagons, which are safe on railway consideration. Bottom discharge wagons are generally used for captive needs. The advantage of standard wagon is that one is not responsible for its return journey. It can go anywhere. Specialised empty wagon has to come back and it will cost money for its empty return journey.
    Above are broad consideration. Everything depends upon distance, quantity to be transported daily, rail gauge, wagon management and so on, which are not known.

    Ishwar G Mulani - Author book: Engineering Science and Application Design for Belt Conveyor
    Advisor (consultant) for bulk material handling systems

  5. #5
    Mark Kilfoil Guest


    Hello All

    In South Africa our railway authority prefers specialized rail wagons, so there are hundreds of differnt types. Bottom and end discharge are not used much now.

    Wherever possible trains are made up with only 1 type of wagon. Coal exports for example go in wagons with rotatable couplers and brake hoses so that they can be tippled without uncoupling. Such trains then shuttle back and forth between the main coal loading yard and the main export harbor.

    Mark Kilfoil

    Mechanical Engineeing
    Technikon Witwatersrand

  6. Yes, what is informed by Mark Kilfoil is also possible. But it can be implemented as part of national policy. For individual company / organisation, the issues mentioned by me needs to be taken care. I have only highlighted the issues concerning the use of specialised wagons.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 02
    Dear THH

    Further to our earlier correspondence about the Tiltainer units, please find attached additional information.

    Drawings are available that show typical receival systems for road or rail transport with different levels of sophistication for the receival of the bulk commodity. These systems can be tailored to your particular needs.

    The Tiltainer will attach to road transport or rail wagon with twistlocks as for a standard ISO container and can be fitted with a cover to prevent the ingress of rainwater. The containers are emptied by connection to a hydraulic power pack at the receival station, no rotation of the carrying vehicle is required.
    Transport of sticky material like Kaolin will requirelining of the container with Tivar or similar low friction material and filleting the corners of the container to reduce adhesion.

    The device is capable of transporting 30 tonnes, so in your case we would redesign to suit the lower bulk density in order to reduce the tare weight. We would expect the container assembly to weigh about 4T and cost about $US15k each depending on the features required and the number of units contained in any order.

    We would consider entering into an agreement to provide the design of the units and receival facility for manufacture in your country of origin. Such an arrangement would require a pre-payment to meet any design costs necessary to meet your specific requirements, and licensing of your selected subcontractor. An agreed royalty would be payable for each unit manufactured.

    Please visit

    John Hanna
    Managing Director

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