How would the Modalohr UIC wagon system go in Australia?

 
  Spiritman Train Controller

Location: Camden, NSW
Hello all

Have read an article recently on upgrades needed to the height of tunnels in Europe for these Modalohr UIC (semi trailer) wagons to be used for intermodal trains and am wondering how they would go in Australia?
I'm thinking of things like the combined weight of the fully laden semi trailer plus wagon, height restrictions of tunnels on the Syd-Melb corridor for example (they need 4m clearance) might be factors that may prevent their use.

Link to a pdf file: http://www.silbcn.com/ponencias/sebatien_lange_modalhor.pdf

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  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

It certainly seems to tick the boxes for low clearance piggyback on the East Coast with maximum heights of 4030mm available between Melbourne and Brisbane (Brisbane to Cairns is 3900mm at the moment). The US and European experience in growing intermodal have both shown that trucking companies don't like reinvesting in container fleets after they've amassed a large trailer fleet, which means, unless those trailers can go on rail they'll stay on the road until they're due for replacement. Ultimately piggyback is the fastest way of converting trucking companies to a rail solution, and I like the look of this product, particularly if it can use conventional trailers.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
It certainly seems to tick the boxes for low clearance piggyback on the East Coast with maximum heights of 4030mm available between Melbourne and Brisbane (Brisbane to Cairns is 3900mm at the moment). The US and European experience in growing intermodal have both shown that trucking companies don't like reinvesting in container fleets after they've amassed a large trailer fleet, which means, unless those trailers can go on rail they'll stay on the road until they're due for replacement. Ultimately piggyback is the fastest way of converting trucking companies to a rail solution, and I like the look of this product, particularly if it can use conventional trailers.
Sulla1
Our problems lie with the fact that 90% of our trailers are over 4000 mm by themselves...
  DrSmith Train Controller

Australian trailer hts are a stumbling block for the east coast tunnels. The Roadrailers had to retract their wheels or deflate their air-bags to get rail clearance and now you have to add some "thickness" of under-frame to carry them. A mansard type roof outline does help but there is in the end a loss of volume. The wagons as built in Europe are horrendously expensive.

The American trailers were based on an ISO 40foot container and set the ht at 13feet 6inches. Australia uses 14foot trailers or 4270mm. Gets difficult to keep down to 4030mm.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Australian trailer hts are a stumbling block for the east coast tunnels. The Roadrailers had to retract their wheels or deflate their air-bags to get rail clearance and now you have to add some "thickness" of under-frame to carry them. A mansard type roof outline does help but there is in the end a loss of volume. The wagons as built in Europe are horrendously expensive.

The American trailers were based on an ISO 40foot container and set the ht at 13feet 6inches. Australia uses 14foot trailers or 4270mm. Gets difficult to keep down to 4030mm.
DrSmith
Hmm. Looks like a cross between a flex van and a front runner which have both been tried and discarded in the USA with the flex discarded in Australia also. Looks like its too fussy a system which the Euros seem to excel in.

The latest Trains Magazine available to subscribers is devoted entirely to how US railroads move automobiles by rail. Worth a look too see how things are done properly and how we will never get up to those standards.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Sigh...well that sinks another potential growth strategy. Clearances are better between Melbourne and Adelaide and obviously in the double stack territories...still room for conventional piggyback if the players ever wanted to get interested in dragging the likes of Lindsay Fox to an east-west rail solution.
  Spiritman Train Controller

Location: Camden, NSW
Australian trailer hts are a stumbling block for the east coast tunnels. The Roadrailers had to retract their wheels or deflate their air-bags to get rail clearance and now you have to add some "thickness" of under-frame to carry them. A mansard type roof outline does help but there is in the end a loss of volume. The wagons as built in Europe are horrendously expensive.

The American trailers were based on an ISO 40foot container and set the ht at 13feet 6inches. Australia uses 14foot trailers or 4270mm. Gets difficult to keep down to 4030mm.
DrSmith
Perhaps we might see them on the future inland route but the crossing of the Divide into Brisbane might pose a problem. Neat system though.
The wagon itself is 40t with a payload of 60-75t and axle weight of 22t @ 100km/h. I'm only guessing but those numbers shouldn't be a problem for the main Australian North-South or East-West rail corridors?
  DrSmith Train Controller

A 40t tare wagon carrying a 25 to 35t trailer is pretty poor at a capital cost of $225K each plus a less than ordinary trailer volume is not good. The Roadrailer bogies which were the wagons were only 6t at a cot of $45K each. Then there is all that lost length. Some European countries ban trucks over-nite. Rail thru the Gothard tunnels is pretty attractive to the alternative.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Tall box in a well wagon straight onto a road vehicle next to it would be faster and cheaper where possible . Assumes you have cranes and forks that is .
  br30453 Chief Train Controller

It certainly seems to tick the boxes for low clearance piggyback on the East Coast with maximum heights of 4030mm available between Melbourne and Brisbane (Brisbane to Cairns is 3900mm at the moment). The US and European experience in growing intermodal have both shown that trucking companies don't like reinvesting in container fleets after they've amassed a large trailer fleet, which means, unless those trailers can go on rail they'll stay on the road until they're due for replacement. Ultimately piggyback is the fastest way of converting trucking companies to a rail solution, and I like the look of this product, particularly if it can use conventional trailers.
Sulla1

4030mm is the maximum height for box containers on the East Coast, Cartainers with the angled roofs go up to the maximum height of 4270mm as above 4030 they conform to the rollingstock outline.

Between Brisbane and Cairns and to Mount Isa the allowable rollingstock outline is 3900mm above rail but containers are allowed to 4080mm.

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