Deep Well Cars Exclusively for High-Cube 40′ Containers on High-Speed Trains

Deep Well Cars Exclusively for High-Cube 40′ Containers on High-Speed Trains

Frieder R. Haferkorn

Fachhochschule Dortmund/University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Germany

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About 1% or 2 % of the overall container traffic is run on the Iron Silk Road between Europe and China (with a long broad-gauge section Belarus–Russia–Kazakhstan and gantry crane transshipments in Brest and Khorgos) because trains are estimated to be faster and more reliable than container ships. There may be even a market for high-speed block trains for the most valuable and urgent 10% or 20 % of these containers being part of just-in-time production or trade chains. These containers are worth to be shipped at express timetables and protected in deep well cars from falling neither off ships nor off trains. (On 1 January 2019 MSC_Zoe lost 342 containers washed ashore on Dutch and German isles of the North Sea [1], and on 2 January 2019 a freight train lost an empty semi-trailer on the Great Belt Bridge in Denmark which caused a collision with a passenger train and 8 persons killed [2]). In UT conference, Sevilla 2002 [3], I was mistaken believing that there is no limit for mass or speed of container trains. A diagram on sustainable maximal speed (Y) versus mass per length (X) shows distinct sets for passenger trains near the Y axis and freight trains near the X axis and a cut set <3 t/m and ≤120 km/h. So there are limits for both speed and mass per length, probably because of dynamic stress between train mass and infrastructure. In order to quickly develop a high-speed container train, existing and proven locomotives and bogies should be made use of and only the deep well car structure is left. Together with bogies and container masses, this structure must not exceed the mass-per-length criterion of a high-speed passenger middle car, to make the infrastructure not feel the difference. For easy and fast unloading and loading containers by gantry cranes, deep well cars should stay topless and be designed exclusively for high-cube 40′ containers. First estimates seem to confirm a compound welded copper-steel alloy structure will be tough, long and light enough. A market analysis, a feasibility study including air resistance and a specification book are required before prototypes of the car body can be designed, calibrated and manufactured for tests and presentations.


Iron Silk Road, high-speed container train, deep well cars, mass-per-length vs. speed diagram, gantry crane transshipment


[1] 342 containers washed ashore:

[2] Freight train lost a semi-trailer: accident

[3] Haferkorn, F.R., “Container railcar versus container lorry transport – a comparative study”,

[4] Breimeier, R., Schnellere Güterzüge?, Eisenbahn Revue International 11/2008, p. 572.

[5] Gerhard Troche, ICE-G, Freight-TGV, TGV-Postal, Parcel-IC: polopoly_fs/1.87134.1550157093!/Menu/general/column-content/attachment/0512_ inlaga

[6] CargoSprinter:

[7] Talion:

[8] Behrends, H./Hensel, W./Wiedau, G., “Güterwagen-Archiv 2”, transpress 1989.

[9] J.-O. Slezak, “Breite Spur und weite Strecken”, transpress 1963.

[10] Obermayer, H.J. (Ed.), “Internationaler Schnellverkehr – Superzüge in Europa und Japan”, Franck-Kosmos 1994.

[11] 300X:

[12] F.W. Frailey, Blue Streak Merchandise, Kalmbach 1991. [13] Double-Stack on Flatcars:

[14] Parcel-IC:

[15] CargoMover:

[16] Container flatcar Sggns(s) 80:

[17] Sato, Y., “Effect of intermediate beam in track on train induced ground vibration”, https://,P. 809.

[18] Gotthard Base

[19] Beijing-Moscow in two days:

[20] Papazian, A., Alles über den TGV, transpress 2007.

[21] Mercitalia...Fast: [22] HST-125, IC-125:

[23] Sapsan:

[24] Sokol:Сокол-250.

[25] ER-200:ЭР200.

[26] HighSpeed freight car bogie (Niesky): files/downloads//WBN_Drehgestell_Datenblatt_dt.pdf.

[27] Wellcar (Niesky): Datenblatt_4achs. Taschenwagen Sdgnss.pdf.

[28] Pocket wagons:

[29] Stichel, S., “The influence of underframe structural flexibility on the hunting behaviour of a freight wagon”,, p. 725.

[30] Loading gauges UIC and UIC-UK: