SPAIN: Kiruna Wagon of Sweden is building a demonstrator wagon and side dumper unloading station for trial movements of dry bulk materials produced by ICL Iberia, whose plants at Súria and Sallent are connected to the Port of Barcelona by the 1 000 mm gauge FGC network. Kiruna is supplying the new equipment under the Hermes project led by ICL, which aims to develop ‘smart and flexible’ wagons and facilities to improve the capacity, flexibility and cost-effectiveness of bulk movements of granular materials by rail.

Based on a modular logistics system developed by Kiruna, the demonstrator wagon features a standard chassis that can accommodate different types of container ‘tailor made’ to the type of cargo to be moved. To move low-density salt products under the Hermes trial, Kiruna has aimed to achieve the largest possible volume per length of wagon, while side doors should provide an effective seal against accidental spillage and the elements.

As well as enabling a rectangular body cross section, side unloading is ‘a very simple and low-cost solution’ when compared to a rotary car dumper, says Kiruna.

The 36-month Hermes project has a total budget of €6⋅7m, and had been funded by the European Commission under its Horizon 2020 programme. In addition to ICL, FGC and Kiruna, the project has also involved research and development organisation CTM, CETECOM, Luleå University of Technology, protective coatings supplier Hempel, engineering consultancy IDP and steel manufacturer SSAB. Research organisation ARMINES has also participated, having a third-party agreement with the Ecole des Mines d’Alès.

‘To fulfil our task of really taking a leap in sustainable bulk logistics, we are co-operating down to the smallest details of the wagon and the system’, said Bengt Bolsöy, Technical Manager at Kiruna Wagon. ‘All partners in the Hermes project contribute with state-of-the-art solutions, and we are convinced that we will contribute to making Europe more competitive as well as more sustainable.’