Van Hool delivers prototype rail tank
Independent Belgian manufacturer of buses, coaches and industrial vehicles, Van Hool, has developed a new 45-ft (13,7-m) tank container for rail transport – especially for, and in cooperation with, BASF.
This tank container, combined with a container wagon, offers many advantages when compared to the classic 20 to 30-ft (six to 9,1-m) rail tank car.
The aim was to create a new system that could make conventional rail transport as flexible and fast as combined transport, without compromising on the advantages offered by the existing, high-load capacity of conventional rail transport.
With 63 m³ capacity and a maximum allowable weight of 75 t, the 45-ft tank container has a loading capacity that is the double that of a usual tank container and comparable to that of a rail tank car.
The new tank containers are equipped with modern insulation techniques and heating systems.
The prototype tanks can be used for rail transport, inland waterways and (when empty) for road transport. They are removable from the container wagon and stackable, so require less infrastructure and offer more flexibility for loading and unloading.
The 45-ft tank container is contributing significantly in making conventional rail transport more competitive and taking more loads off the road and onto the railways. The European arm of BASF plans to start using them from 2017.