Thursday, July 23, 2009

Russian freight car builder taps U.S. designer

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Starfire Engineering & Technologies, Inc. has provided designs for three freight cars to Tikhvin Railway Car Building for use in Eastern Europe. Starfire has designed a covered hopper, container flat (pictured), starfire.jpgand gondola to date. To build these cars, Tikhvin has established an $800 million, 728,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on a former Transmash site 125 miles east of St. Petersburg, Russia. Developed by ICT Group, the facility employs 3,500 people. Freight car series production is scheduled to begin in 2010, with an annual capacity of 10,000 cars. The first cars to be completed are Type 12-9761 76.5-ton bottom-discharge open hoppers. Tikhvin says similar cars account for about 40% of the Russian fleet; around half of these are scheduled for replacement. Tikhvin will also produce heavy castings for contract customers, and a wheel plant with an annual capacity of 50,000 wheelsets is planned.