Refrigerated Block Train
Refrigerated block trains are used for the carriage of refrigerated containers on the railway network with a track of 1520 mm. This is a specialized rolling stock, which allows you to carry refrigerated containers, keeping them in the specified temperature range of -25 to +25 degrees Celsius. Each of the containers can maintain its target temperature.
Unlike refrigerated cars and refrigerated trucks, transportation using refrigerated block trains may be a link in a multi-modal transportation. Because a transported unit is a container, it can be successfully reloaded from the block train to the ship or vehicle and vice versa.
The composition of the block train includes the diesel generator car and specially equipped platforms.
The diesel generator car is a caboose, which houses a diesel power plant, the capacity of which can power up to 18 refrigerated containers, the fuel tank ensuring smooth operation of the power plant for a few weeks. Half of this car is a living space, which houses a team of two mechanics servicing generator’s equipment and monitoring the work of the containers.
Flatcars for the transport of refrigerated containers are equipped with power lines and outlets for connection. Depending on the design of the platform, it can carry 2x20 ', 1x40', 1x20 'and 1x40', or 2x40' refrigerated containers. As a rule, these are platforms built at the factory specifically for the transport of refrigerated containers, or upgraded by certified company under a special design.
The diesel generator car and several (usually 6 - 12 pcs.) platforms are connected together electrically and mechanically using intercar cables to form a single circuit. Containers are mounted on platforms and connected to power outlets. Thus, the container on the entire route remains connected to the power source and maintains the temperature of the cargo as well as it would support it being on board the vessel or at the terminal.
Reliability of uninterrupted power supply during transportation is determined by several factors.
The electric current is generated by two main diesel generators working alternately. Even in the case of failure of one of them the second one is able to completely secure the work of containers transported. Additionally there is a third, backup diesel generator that can also be used if necessary.
Reserve fuel available on board (about 6000 liters) is enough for any distance transport within the network of 1520 mm road even with the unexpected delays in transit.
Mechanics accompanying the cargo in diesel generator cars are specially trained, skilled technicians. They do not only monitor equipment work, control loading and unloading of cargo as representatives of SUNGATE, but also eliminate the malfunction or damage to the equipment, if such there are in the way.
The block train in transit cannot be decoupled under any circumstances. To ensure this, the accompanying documents are issued in a specific way.
Refrigerated containers required for goods transport, can be provided by SUNGATE, or customers can use their own or ship-line’s containers.
Regulatory framework for use of refrigerated block trains
The use of refrigerated block trains for transportation of refrigerated containers is regulated by the Agreement on International Goods Transport by Rail (SMGS) between the railway administrations of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Georgia, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania and the Republic of Estonia, in particular Annex number 4, as well as by the Terms of freight in private large-capacity refrigerated block trains in international traffic, approved at the 39th meeting of the Council for Rail Transport of the CIS on 16-17 November 2004