Sweden’s Kiruna Wagon, a manufacturer of railroad rolling stock, has signed an order for 150 iron-ore railcars with mining company Northland Resources. The railcars are scheduled for delivery between January 1, 2013, and May 5, 2014. As reported last month in E&MJ (See “Northland Finalizes Logistics and Mill Operational Agreements for Kaunisvaara,” May 2012, p. 151), Northland also has an option to buy up to 92 additional railcars from Kiruna Wagon.

The railcars, rated at about 98 metric tons capacity, will transport iron ore concentrate from Northland’s transshipment terminal in Pitkäjärvi, Sweden, to the ice-free port of Narvik, Norway, a distance of 226 km.

Kiruna Wagon said the railcars will be built primarily with high-strength steels and will have a low tare weight to maximize payload. The Pitkäjärvi-to-Narvik Malmbanan rail route has a maximum permitted axle load of 30 mt.

Based on technology that has been previously proven on the railway, the wagon features a load “cube” that differs from the design manufactured by Kiruna Wagon for LKAB. Kiruna Wagon notes that, due to the fine particle size of Northland Resources’ magnetite concentrate—with 80% of the product passing 40 micron—bottom discharge is not practical and consequently a “basket-turning” solution was chosen instead. When emptying, the cube is rotated 148° while the frame remains on the rails. The rotation, along with the rounded contour of the walls, creates optimal conditions for effective discharge, according to the manufacturer.

The Northland order, comprising 150 wagons, will operate as 75 short-coupled units in 500-m-long train sets.