Inventive engineering taking place at DB Cargo UK’s maintenance depot in Stoke has led to the re-discovery of ‘The Stegosaurus’.
The busy engineers are undertaking the conversion of a set of unused BYA wagons into open hot coil wagons which have been dubbed ‘The Stegosaurus’ due to their eye-catching profile.
DB Cargo UK is repurposing 29 old and unused BYA wagons following a successful trial of prototypes with customer Tata Steel.
Recently Tata Steel has seen demand rise for open hot coil wagons giving DB Cargo UK the opportunity to advance its current fleet of covered wagons and achieve their customer’s new needs.
The task was undertaken by DB Cargo UK’s cross-business Wagon Innovation Group who developed the idea of removing the doors from the wagons and modifying the coil beds inside.
The MK1 prototype was finished in early 2020 and underwent live testing with Tata Steel and only getting mixed reviews.
These initial trials lead to further research carried out by DB Cargo UK’s Sales and Production team who worked directly with Tata Steel receiving feedback on specific needs and additional requirements passing on the useful information to the Group Technical Services Team (GTS).
Armed with the all-important information GTS went back to the drawing board and developed the MK2. The new modular type set-up meant that the wagon ends were totally removed providing much better access for cranes for loading. Also, sturdy dividers were added to the well of the wagon providing secure pockets for mixed sizes of the coil which provides options for differing size coils based on the customer’s needs.
Un-useful items were removed from the wagons to conserve the tare weight or unladen weight, whilst keeping payloads at the same level as before. The transition of the BYA’s to flexible coil transport also meant GTS needed to create a set of dividers that could be moved into the vehicles to allow steel slab transport.
This extra ability meant that the same wagons could offer either open coil or slab traffic, which is highly beneficial as it increases usability meaning less reliance on older life expired steel wagons as the BYAs are around 30 years younger than the current open fleet.
Wagon BYA 966050 was returned back to the engineering team in Stoke for reworking and was completed to coil specific during April 2021. The wagon is now out and about in traffic with Tata Steel and has been given excellent feedback.
Full rollout of the MK2 prototype has now been given the go-ahead with Stoke set to convert a further 29 wagons throughout 2021 all with the ability to carry coil or slab spec as required. Additional staff will be recruited to carry out the conversion of the wagons.
Mike Richards, Depot Manager at Stoke, said: “The team at Stoke is very proud of the MK2 prototype and has nicknamed it the Stegosaurus due to the side-on profile.
“We worked closely with our colleagues in the GTS Team along with Procurement for the new modular items to enable significant improvements over the MK1 offering,” he added.
“Asset optimisation is a key strand of DB Cargo UK’s new strategy and this project demonstrates clearly that innovation and a determination to deliver for our customers is alive and well in our business.”
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