Kiruna Wagon’s new wagon, the Turn Dumper, is currently under development
Kiruna Wagon’s new wagon, the Turn Dumper, is currently under development. Like the Helix Dumper built for Northland Resources, which is shown in the photo, the new wagon is a body-turning wagon, which means that the chassis remains on the rails while the body tips the load.

Kiruna Wagon has been selected to develop the next generation of European-style bulk wagons (railcars) in a project that is part of Horizon 2020, the European Union’s (EU) investment program to promote a competitive European industry. Also participating from Sweden are SSAB and the Division of Mechanics of Solid Materials at Luleå University of Technology, with particular focus on solid mechanics.

The goal of the project, which will be conducted as a collaboration between nine European companies and organizations, is to create the most modern logistics system possible for the Spanish salt producer Iberpotash, and thus set a new standard in European bulk logistics.

The wagon development work is the hub of the project, which includes optimization of the entire logistics chain—from the use of SSAB’s high-strength steel in future bulk wagons to Luleå University of Technology’s investigative work to increase productivity and reduce wear during the loading and unloading of bulk materials.

Kiruna Wagon’s wagon-rotation solution, called the Turn Dumper, is the basis for the design of the new wagon and is likely to become a new standard for future European bulk transport, according to Kiruna.

The project is unique in that it combines industrial expertise in design, construction, materials, and logistics with research in advanced modeling, dimensioning, fatigue and abrasion in order to find innovative solutions, said Pär Jonsén, associate professor at Luleå University of Technology.

Horizon 2020, formally known as the EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation, has three priorities: excellent science, industrial leadership and societal challenges. In the area of industrial leadership, there is a strong focus on innovation at small- and medium-sized enterprises.

“We believe that this approach is the right way to go in order to raise the EU’s bulk industries to the same high level of productivity, durability and safety that characterizes our Swedish mining companies, and from there to the next level. We have supplied wagons to both LKAB and Boliden and that we now have this role in a European project confirms both Kiruna Wagon’s and the region’s leading position in heavy rail transport,” said Fredrik Kangas, managing director at Kiruna Wagon.

In addition to designing the car, Kiruna Wagon will also work actively to ensure that future bulk transports are conducted in long trains and with high axle loads. This has benefits for both productivity and the environment, according to the company, and is successfully used by LKAB, which runs 750-m-long ore trains with 30-metric-ton (mt) axle loads.