45ft Containers on Rail

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Legolash2o, 9 Dec 2019.

  1. Legolash2o

    Legolash2o Member

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    Hi all,

    How common is it to see 45ft containers on rail?
    Is it something that is general done or avoided? Why if avoided?
    Is the rail network better suited for 20/40ft containers?

    Thanks.
     
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  3. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    I think it’s probably the container flats (rather than the infrastructure) that are geared up for 60’ overall, so 40’+ 20’ fills a wagon, but 45’ leaves an undesirable space. The well or pocket wagons for use where gauge clearance is limited are a different length though, not sure if they are ok with 45’
     
  4. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    The older wagon types are all based on 60' permutations with the 40' well wagon to deal with 9'6" before the low floor flat types came along.
    New wagon types have allowed 9'6" to be carried on (lower) flat wagons and FL / DRS recently got some new wagons that are for 45' & 9'6" (IKA + FLA inners / IDA) and Freightliner have FWA and FLA outers for 40' & 9'6" as the number of 40's has increased relative to 20'.
     
  5. 3973EXL

    3973EXL Member

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    Common on Domestic flows, even 50' boxes, look at any video of a Daventry domestic train.
    Maritime flows used to be less so.

    As already mentioned, mix of 20 & 40 caused more of a problem, leading to the introduction of new wagon types.
     
    Last edited: 9 Dec 2019
  6. furnessvale

    furnessvale Established Member

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    20ft and 40ft are international standards worldwide. Increasingly there is a preponderance of 40ft making 60ft rail wagons wasteful of 20ft.

    45ft is a European preference as it matches a standard 13.6m road trailer. These are accommodated on megafret type wagons on domestic and European flows.

    50ft is now allowable in the UK on authorised longer semitrailers and these are appearing on WH Malcolm services.

    Domestic services in the USA can be 53ft or even longer. They cannot be carried by road in Europe thus they do not send them over the pond.
     
  7. SteveM70

    SteveM70 Member

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    up till about five years ago my job had a bit of involvement with containers coming from China and the pricing was all in TEUs
     
  8. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    53ft Containers are quite common in the US because the rail operators will tend to charge the same amount for them as they will for a 40ft container, because they put them on the top of the double stack train where they can overhang the couplers.

    IIRC There is an industry in the LA area where they unpack 3 40ft ocean containers and repack them into 2 53ft containers for the overland haul.

    I believe they even have 60 foot containers in Canada now.
     
  9. Dunfanaghy Rd

    Dunfanaghy Rd Member

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    If the shipping companies won't / can't carry them, we'll not see the N American sizes over here.
    I don't know how many 45 fts a container ship can carry, compared to the normal 20 & 40 fts. I guess it would have to be deck cargo, which limits things a bit. Also the various container handling businesses would have to re-equip their reach stacker and trailer fleets - I bet they'd love that!
    When I was working we started to carry 45ft on Megafret wagons (FKA, 4908 Sffggmrrss). That helped some of the wasted space on the platforms. I dare say that Multgifret / Eurotwins could do the same, subject to gauging.
    It was noticeable in recent years that the all-singing Megafret / Eurotwin was falling out of favour and more specialised 40 ft and 45 ft platforms were coming in. All in the name of using the space efficiently. When EWS started running containers from Southampton we were carrying about 0.67 teu to 1 slu train length. By the time I retired it was more like 0.8 teu to 1 slu. So progress, by replacing Megafrets with 60 ft beds (FCA types) and 40 fts (FWA), from a poor start.
    Pat
     
  10. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Overhang the bogies with smaller container underneath on the older 45' & 48'* doublestack well wagons, becoming rarer with more double stacks 53' wagons available

    No largely disappeared in favour of 53'
     
  11. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    And significantly lower tare(wagon ) weight compared to container weight too...
     
  12. 83G/84D

    83G/84D Established Member

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    There was a rule that stated that a train of containers had to have the rearmost wagon loaded, I think it was in the working manual for rail staff/ pink pages. Is that still the case?

    I think it was a result of a rear end collision.

    I have a vague recollection of a container train at Swindon a few months ago where that was not the case.
     
  13. Dunfanaghy Rd

    Dunfanaghy Rd Member

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    That's a new one on me.
    Generally we would want to load a part-loaded train from the front; any driver will tell you that it handles better that way. Scattering boxes and spaces through the train adds to the wind resistance as well. The pink pages Appendix 2 is concerned with the separation of incompatible Dangerous Goods within a train; that could, of course, force a space ahead of a DG box, which might make put the DG on the last wagon but does not necessitate it.
    Pat
     
  14. 3973EXL

    3973EXL Member

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    Same reaction as Pat, never heard of that. How would that work with a completely empty train?
     
  15. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    I think it was this one: http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/documents/DoT_Wigan1984.pdf
     
  16. 83G/84D

    83G/84D Established Member

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    Not too far from goongumpas treacle mine!

    My memory is not as good as it used to be, perhaps that’s not the case then.
     
  17. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

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    Can't remember where I read it, possibly an American website? But I've seen reference somewhere to the need to put containers on the last set of wagons to try and damp hunting / oscillation on container trains. The implication being that unloaded container wagons are too light to be stable on the track at speed and need a "tail" to keep them in place
     
  18. Legolash2o

    Legolash2o Member

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    Thanks for the responses.

    The reason I ask is that Hull has a lot of 45ft containers going via a heavily congested road and wanted to know the feasibility of moving it to rail (ignoring gauge issues).
     
  19. furnessvale

    furnessvale Established Member

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    Have a look at the domestic traffic in and out of DIRFT including the new Daventry Tees TESCO train. Mainly 45ft boxes.
     
  20. GrimShady

    GrimShady On Moderation

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    Very much depends on a the ships TEU
     
  21. Dunfanaghy Rd

    Dunfanaghy Rd Member

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    I was thinking of the lengths of the holds. I think that they are designed around 40 ft, but could be wrong.
    Pat
     
  22. Legolash2o

    Legolash2o Member

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    Pretty sure the ships support 45ft. All the lorries and lorry yards have 45ft containers on their vehicles.
     
  23. 8stewartt

    8stewartt Member

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    45’s can not be accommodated on ships as easily. The domestic flows between daventry and Scotland all use 45’s, some of Malcolm’s are now 50’s. Stobarts have plenty of 45’s for the Tesco traffic. All these services use the IKA, IDA or FKA wagons, low enough to accept 9’ 6” boxes within W9 gauge. Can only hold 1 45 or 40 box on the platform, so the wasted space is un useable anyway.

    The intermodal wagons used by the likes of Freightliner, FEA, FSA, FTA can hold a 40 and 20 on the same platform, subject to weights etc a 45 on these wastes space, and fresh air doesn’t pay. Hence most international sea going boxes are 40 or 20.

    However, I did the other day see a liner with a 40 and 2 10’s on it, that is rare!

    Hope this helps.
     
  24. RLBH

    RLBH Member

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    I believe that the 45-foot containers have twistlock sockets on the same centres as 40-foot containers, so are compatible with the same handling equipment. Although the question does then arise of where to put the overhang - presumably different operators have different opinions on the matter.
     
  25. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    45' are deck rather than hold which are orientated around 40' due to all the immovable steel work. Hence a comparatively small number on deep sea as there is very little space to put them on the big vessels
    Containers also tend to come in 2 widths the standard (narrower) deep sea and the wider short sea which are ok for European roads and allow pallets to be fitted inside more easily.
    The former need W-even number route clearance and the later W-odd number route clearance on the UK rail network.

    Hull is effectively a mainly short sea port (with European traffic) hence much more 45' x 9'6" and wide containers e.g. Tesco (W9)
     
  26. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Generally not in the hold as there plenty on internal frame work making sure they don't shift (or the ship twists!). Hence high up or on deck.

    see this image for internal structure:
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cc/Containerladeräume_Schiff_retouched.jpg

    Some newer ships do have some hold bays configured for 45' but not that common.
     
  27. RLBH

    RLBH Member

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    Yup, plenty familiar with shipping - obviously 45-foot containers (or 8'6" wide ones) are a right pain for sea transport. Was mostly talking about the handling equipment, which isn't much different between a port, a rail terminal, or a hardstanding off a motorway junction.
     
  28. 3973EXL

    3973EXL Member

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    They are loaded to rail using the 40' spigot/twistlock positions on the unit. Actual sipgot/twistlock used on the wagon will depend on wagon type and configuration.
    This will all be covered by the FOC loading pattern for the wagon.
     
  29. 3973EXL

    3973EXL Member

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    Were they 10' though?

    I saw several the other week and have seen them in the past. But what looks like a 10' unit is 2x10' boxes built as a 20' with one number.
    These tend to be new build imports being delivered to a customer, not in common use.
    Spigot/twistlock positions on wagons are not designed for 10' units, and if even possible in the odd position, it was never included (DB) on the loading pattern.
     
  30. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    Well the US Military uses small boxes that can be locked together to form a 20' container unit for transport.
     
  31. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    They have done for a very long time (easily forkliftable). Others are beginning to copy that concept...
     

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