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Interoperability, Security and Safety of Goods Movement with 1435 and 1520 (1524) mm Track Gauge Railways: New Technology in Freight Transport including Hazardous Products

The aim of the project is to develop and validate a new rail transport technology on the basis ofadjustable wheelsets, enabling the interoperable, safe and secure traffic between railways with different gauge width. This new transport technology allows limiting the time required for a train to move through a border crossing with a gauge-changing station and minimise the environmental hazards. It is a new alternative in the supply of energy resources. INTERGAUGE consists of three subsystems: operation technology and track layout of switching station, innovative solution SUW 2000 II and the construction of a track gauge switching station with enhanced durability to take loads of 225 kN.

Tags: Rail


Technologies currently applied in international railway freight transport through border crossings, where track gauge changes from 1435 mm to 1520 mm, require time- and work-consuming reloading procedures and very expensive reloading appliances. The new INTERGAUGE technology using cars with adjustable wheel sets is considerably safer and more efficient than the currently used methods, especially for the transport of dangerous materials – gas and petroleum – which are easily damaged while reloading, and of goods that are hazardous to the environment. There is now a need for a transportation method for such goods, which was expressed at international meetings with railway companies. The project involves research on technological advances and integration with regard to the interoperability of freight transport. It increases the possibility for the railways to take over the transport of some dangerous freight, which is currently shipped by road.


The aim of the project is to develop freight movement technologies to enable the interoperability of transport between railways with different gauge widths.

The following tasks should be realised during the project:

  • elaboration of theoretical track layouts and switching station operational technology
  • development of a prototype construction of a tank car equipped with adjustable wheel sets
  • construction of a track gauge changing station and the equipment used to operate it.

Description of work

One of the objectives of the project is to develop a bogie tank car with gauge-adjustable wheel sets and its implementation for transporting petroleum. This car and bogie should adapt for higher speed and higher axle-loads, allowing a greater load capacity of the whole car. The construction of a bogie with gauge-adjustable wheel sets should be adapted to 225 kN axle load and v = 120 kph. The development of a new car superstructure is also aimed at reaching a better tare weight factor. Owing to the implementation of new materials, the factor for the tank car should not exceed 0.25-0.27 with a technical availability factor of 0.92-0.95. The most up-to-date analytical methods as well as fatigue tests have been used.

A track gauge switching station with enhanced durability equipped with devices to automate operation and monitor the switching process will be constructed.


As a result of the project, the following prototypes will be developed:

  • the construction of a new tank bogie car with a gauge-adjustable wheel sets for 225 kN axle load and speeds of 120 kph, comply with the common leaflet UIC 430-4/OSShD/516 O+R and UIC and RIV regulations
  • the construction of the track gauge switching station with enhanced durability and equipped with devices to automate the switching and monitor the switching process.