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Freight Rolling Stock
In the days of steam it was commonplace to see long trains of mixed wagons carrying coal, stone, timber, slate and many other basic materials needed both in the large cities and in the smaller towns. The operation of such trains was often slow and labour intensive, involving marshalling yards and painstaking ?shunting'-loading. and off
Economic considerations have caused such operations now to be a thing of the past. However, railways are still an excellent way of moving freight especially in large countries where distances are much greater. Even so approaching two hundred million tons of freight a year is still transported on the railways in the UK.
Freight wagons in recent years have tended to become specialised to the material they are handling. This is certainly the case for the transport of bulk cement, china clay, crushed stone, coal, oil, steel, fly-ash and some manufactured items like cars.
In recent years also specialised fixed formation trains have been used in the UK, known as freightliners, which run on regular routes from ports and various factories carrying standard containers.
This has the effect of producing a train which imposes 25 tonnes axle loadings down the full length of the train. This is very punishing to the supporting track and structures and must be taken into account by all engineers engaged both in vehicle and bridge design.
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