Archive for May 5th, 2012

PKP Cargo to test 3 chinese wagons

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Jinan Railway Vehicles Equipment Co. C70 coal wagon. Photo JRVEC.

PKP Cargo is planning to take delivery of three Chinese coal wagons and conduct tests as part of the process of obtaining Polish homologation. The wagons will be built by the Jinan Railway Vehicles Equipment Company Ltd in China.

JRVEC is a wholly owned subsidiary of China CNR Corporation Limited which was formerly the Jinan Locomotive and Rolling Stock Plant. JLRSP was established in 1910 to repair steam locomotives and, consequent upon the withdrawal of steam haulage, the company branched out into the design and manufacture diesel locomotives.

In 1993, the company further expanded its activities to encompass the design and manufacture freight wagons with the help of investment funds from the Chinese Ministry of Railways. JLRSP became JRVEC on July 9th, 2007.

In June 2010 PKP Cargo and JVREC set up a joint venture CNR Cargo Wagon Sp. z o.o. with a view of testing the feasibility of importing railway freight vehicles wagons in CKD kit form from China and assembling them in a new facility to be set up in Szczecin.

The venture was politically controversial at a time when many ex Cargo workers were being laid of at former PKP Cargo wagon works up and down the country. Also the feasibility study indicated that any competitive advantage was marginal when the costs of assembly in Poland were taken into account.

The project was mothballed for a couple of years. Now the first three wagons have been ordered and will be tested to see if they meet Polish and European certification standards.

If the test are successful a further 17 will be ordered in kit form to test the logistics and economics of assembly in Poland.

What is the betting that the cheapest option will be to assemble the freight wagons in China?

(With a hat tip to the Railway Gazette.)