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Competence Network Climate Change, Risk Management and Transformation in Forest Ecosystems

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Forest Research Institut Baden-Württemberg (FVA)
Department of forest economics

Wonnhaldestr. 4
D-79100 Freiburg

Tel:  +49 761 4018 231
Fax: +49 761 4018 333

Article

Author(s): Jutta Odenthal-Kahabka
Editorial office: FVA, Germany
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Timber Haulage by Railway

Railway haulage from approx. 250 to 350 km distances is a cost-efficient and environmental friendly transport alternative, assuming forest owners, as well as customers, have access to a more or less accessible railroad connection. The Deutsche Bahn Cargo AG will focus its direct business activity in the future only on major customers. Minor customers will be attended to by the Nieten company (100 % Stinnes AG = subsidiary company of DB Cargo)who will take over the timber haulage activities. That means that almost all future transports will have to be arranged and settled directly with Nieten (address see Links and Addresses below).

Order

Mit Holz beladene Waggons
Photo: R. Willmann

Railway haulage from approx. 250 to 350 km distances is a cost-efficient and environmental friendly transport alternative, assuming forest owners, as well as customers, have access to a more or less accessible railroad connection. The Deutsche Bahn Cargo AG will focus its direct business activity in the future only on major customers. Minor customers will be attended to by the Nieten company (100 % Stinnes AG = subsidiary company of DB Cargo)who will take over the timber haulage activities. That means that almost all future transports will have to be arranged and settled directly with Nieten (address see Links and Addresses below).

Settlement

After haulage, the lower forest authority/ forest office receives the bill from Nieten. Upper forest authorities (Baden-Wuerttemberg) and the central office of the forest administration (Rheinland-Pfalz) are not involved in the process. Should the bill be addressed to the customer, this must be agreed with Nieten in advance.

Loading

Loading of the wagons should be carried out in the agreed loading time (usually 1 day) and according to the current roundwood loading guidelines. Demurrage will be charged if the loading time is exceeded.

Wagons will be withdrawn by DB (with no further haulage until rectified) due to overloading (DB-weighing), inadequate load securing, overhanging parts of the load etc. The effort and costs for rectifying the load are immense (the withdraw occurs at distant yards). Delays and resulting demurrages caused by the loader are charged to the loader.

Rough calculation of the load

Amount of load in solid cubic meters = average length of assortment x width of load x height of load x 70 %

(Example: Snps : 16 m x 2,70 m x 2,00 m x 70% => 61 m³; Eanos: 3 x 4,50 m (3 shortwood stacks) x 2,70 m x 2,10 m x 70% => 51 m³).

These values are just indications for the calculation of the transport costs and may vary depending on the haulage company or assortment. This calculation does not include the possibility of increasing the height of the load.

Loading by haulage company

For Baden-Wuerttemberg: An HR52 form with the corresponding attachment has to be used when engaging haulage companies (e.g. for the free on rail delivery and free alongside wagon). The carrier guarantees to load according to railway regulations.

  • The proper documentation for load works by the haulage company is an essential factor for efficient railway loading. Prior to settlement the complete haulage journals have to be presented (date, list of timber, quantity, number of wagons, confirmation of complete removal etc).
  • Only experienced haulage companies should be engaged. Possible problems should be highlighted. Inexperienced companies should be supported at first loadings by a car inspector (especially at Rs-U wagons)

Load securing at wagon loading

The complete loading guideline is available at DB Cargo. The essential elements are:

  • Logs are not allowed to protrude above the stakes by more than half the log’s diameter without being secured (Fig. 1, detail 1).
  • With additional securing (lashing straps of min. 10 kN breaking force) it is possible to increase the height of the load by up to a 1/3 of the load width over the height of the stakes and walls (normally 90 cm) (Fig.1, detail 2). These logs need to be secured at least in two places (Fig. 1, detail 3). Lashing straps are fastened half way down the stakes or to the side rail. At loading the following applies: thick logs first, thin logs into interspaces.
  • Logs with a top diameter of more than 70 cm have to be secured individually: via sidewise wedging with a minimum of 3 wedges (height min. 12 cm + 3 nails at 5mm/wedge)
  • When securing by two stakes, logs have to overlap the stakes by about 50 cm, with rough bark min. 30 cm (at shortwood loading the pluggable stakes of the Roos-wagons are helpful).
  • The distance of the fastenings to the end of the logs should be approx. 50 cm (Fig. 1, detail 4).
  • Loading is only allowed until the end of platform. The shunting handle and step have to remain clear. No parts of the load (e.g. root collars) are allowed to protrude sidewise over the stakes. They must be cut off by the haulage company otherwise the wagon will be withdrawn until corrected.
  • Lashing straps delivered to the customer have to be documented (e.g. via waybill) and reclaimed.
Detail sketch loading
Fig. 1: Detail sketch loading

The carriage number

The carriage number has to be named on all orders or when making complaints. It is made up of different codes and is found on the left hand side of the wagon. This number is necessary for the issuing of the waybill and is composed of:

31 identification number for the exchange process

80 code number of the railway company (80 = DB)

5931 235-2 carriage number, the 5th to8th numbers indicate the type of wagon (5931= Ealos-t; 4723 = Snps; 3525= Roos; ...), the 9th to11th numbers are the consecutive wagon numbering (with control number)

Wagon types 

Wagon-name General description Measures und weights *
SnpsSnps-Waggon Especially for haulage of pipes, roundwood and sawntimber. Flat car with 8 stakes on every side which provide a robust tie-down fastening. Carriage is only permitted with hung-in and tightened straps. Ideal for longwood up to a length of 19.00 m. Loading length: Stake height: Load limit: 19.60 m
2.00 m
63 t
(55 t)
Roos Roos-Waggon

Especially for haulage of long- and shortwood. Flat car with 16 stakes on each side, raised bulkhead and 8 tie-down fastenings. Loading of roundwood is permitted without additional securing, if wood is loaded only to the height of stakes without interspaces. The stakes are mobile and therefore adjustable to the single stack lengths at shortwood loading. They need to be secured before loading. A distance of 1.50 m between the stakes has to be kept to enable removal by a wheel loader.

Loading length: Stake height: Load limit: 18.40 m
1.96 m
59 t
(55 t)
Rs, Res, Rs-U
ResRs-U
Wagon for haulage of heavy and long products of the iron- and steel industry. 8 stakes on each side (partly with boards and front stakes). Problematic load securing: before loading, stakes have to be wedged with hardwood wedges After loading half of the load bonding to tighten the stakes is required; after complete loading securing of the entire freight is required. The stakes are made of very soft iron and therefore are easily deformed by careless loading! Loading length(Rs-U): Stake height: Load limit: 18.50 m
20.70 m
1.20 m
56 t
Ealos-t
Ealos-t
Opened box wagon for bulk and piece goods with high bulkheads and 12 straps with ratchet strapping. Appropriate for industrial wood and mainly for standard lengths up to 400 m. For standard lengths of 450 m and 500 m they are less suitable, as the loading space is not completely used. The bulkheads height limits the height of the load.

Loading length: Loading height: Load limit: 12,80 m
2,10 m
54 t
Eaos, Eas
Eaos-Waggon
Opened box wagon for bulk and piece goods. Appropriate for industrial wood and mainly for standard lengths up to 4.00 m. For standard lengths of 4.50 m and 5.00 m they are less suitable as the loading space is not completely used. Separate lashing straps are required. Loading length: Loading height: Load limit: 12.80 m
2.10 m
58 t
Eanos
Eanos
Opened box wagon for bulk and piece goods. Appropriate for industrial wood and mainly for standard lengths (4.00m) and 450 m. For standard length of 5,00 m they are less suitable the loading space is not completely used. Separate lashing straps are required. Loading length: Loading height: Load limit: 1449 m
210 m
6550 t
(57,70 t)
* Load limit = maximum loading gauge for track class D, in parentheses track class C.

Not listed is the wagon type Laas. These are 4-axial flat car units with solid stakes, which are a secure and simple loading version for homogenous loads. With a loading length of 25,74 m it is a transport alternative for longwood (21 m + add on). The Transwaggon company is the only provider of Laas-wagons.

Specialties of the different wagon types

RS, Res, Rs-U

Bad experiences were had with Rs-U wagons after "Lothar". The proper wedging of the stakes turned out to be time-consuming. Often the responsible car inspector did not release the wagons. As far as possible Rs-U-wagons shouldn’t be used. Wedge stakes with hardwood wedges before loading (Fig. 1, detail 5) or strap after 1/3 to ½ of the stake height (strap or wire) to tighten the stakes (hardwood wedges at Rs-U wagon have to be placed beneath the centre of the stake, for better technical wedging). It is recommended to use two different sized wedges because the mechanical play between stake / load carrier requires both a large and small wedge (5cm x 2cm, 5cm x 3cm) at different times. Strap the complete load with additional straps to the load carrier (not to the stakes).

Snps

No preparations are needed in advance. Strap the load with existing tie-down fastenings.

Roos

If necessary rearrange stakes depending on timber length. Strap the load with existing tie-down fastenings.

Eas, Eanos, Eanos, Ealos-t

Before loading check loading space for cleanliness as scrap metal is sometimes transported in these wagons. If metal remains drill into the timber it will be sorted out at the measuring phase at the sawmill. Loading up to the top of the wagon doesn’t require fastening At higher loading heights additional lashing straps are necessary. After loading a box wagon never open the side swing doors! They won’t close afterwards. The timber has to be removed and reloaded.

Load limits

= maximum loading gauge depends on track class

For single wagon types maximum loading weights are specified. They relate to the track class D (max. 22.5 t axle load). Mainly in the eastern federal states some less stable track class C exist (max. 20 t axlw load). Here correspondingly reduced load limits apply (see above Wagon types). Information on track classes must be asked for at DB before loading.

For a rough calculation of the weight the following conversion factors can be used:

1 m³ spruce/fir (fresh wood) = 0.9 tons

1 m³ beech/oak (fresh wood) = 1.2 tons

For all wagons an optical weight control is made of the so-called “wagon play” by a car inspector from DB-Cargo. The distance between the centre pivot plate and the spring technique is checked. If the limit value is exceeded the wagon will be removed and if needed weighed at a wagon scale. The haulage company has to reduce the weight. A new weighing is paid for by the DB-customer.

DB-Cargo drives with a 0 % weight tolerance.

Attention: When loading beech, oak or timber from wet storage on Snps or Roos wagons the maximum load weight is easily exceeded (especially at increased loading levels)!

Links and Addresses

  • Orders and information: Fa. Nieten Fracht-Logistik Kerschensteinerstraße 1 83395 Freilassing Tel. 08654/6014-0
    >>Website
  • DB-Cargo Costumer service centre, Duisburg: Tel. 01802/000509
    >>Website
  • Transwaggon
    >>Website

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