The Council for Railway Transport of the CIS countries allowed the use of Chinese and Uzbek cassette bearings for the repair of wheel sets of Russian “innovative” cars. It is reported by Railway Supply magazine with reference to Rail.insider.

Bearings

Asian manufacturers are “ready to meet almost all the demand of the Russian market for these products, even without taking into account the manufacturers in the Russian Federation.” Wagon operators talk about the high price of this key part, which increases by more than 50% when imported due to duties. However, according to experts, the issue of price is no longer as important as the need to return the idle innovation park to operation.

Container wagon handling robot under development

Cassette bearings are used in the bogies of innovative wagons with increased carrying capacity, which make up about 15% of the entire fleet. Only foreign manufacturers of cassette bearings worked in the Russian Federation. They left the territory of the aggressor country after the start of the war in Ukraine.

In October, operators estimated the number of innovative railcars put aside from traffic due to the lack of bearings at 10,000 units. As the news reported, due to a shortage of bearings, railcar builders, who produced almost only innovative railcars in 2021, returned to the production of standard models.

In general, the demand of the Russian market for cassette bearings is estimated at 350 – 450 thousand pieces per year. They are used both for the production of new innovative cars and for the repair of existing ones. The peak of repairs should come in 2023, when 30,000 innovative railcars will need to be repaired.

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