Open wagon

Open wagon
A Class Ow goods wagon on the Saxon narrow gauge railways with Heberlein brakes

Open wagons form a large group of railway goods wagons designed primarily for the transportation of bulk goods that are not moisture-retentive and can usually be tipped, dumped or shovelled. The International Union of Railways (UIC) distinguishes between ordinary wagons (Class E/UIC-type 5) and special wagons (F/6). Open wagons often form a significant part of a railway company's goods wagon fleet; for example, forming just under 40% of the Deutsche Bahn's total goods wagon stock in Germany.


UIC standard goods wagons

Twin-axled UIC Type 1 open wagon, used as an ash wagon, on a transporter in Zittau
A Czech (ČD) twin-axled open wagon of UIC Type 2 in Raspenava

Since the 1960s, the majority of goods wagons procured by European railway administrations has been built to standards laid down by, or based on, those established by the UIC. In addition to open wagons the table also shows wagons with opening roofs (Class T), whose design is based on open wagons.

Norm UIC 571-1:
Ordinary class
two axles
UIC 571-2:
Ordinary class
four axles
UIC 571-3:
Special class
Class Type 1
Type 2
Wagon with sliding roof
four axles
Hopper wagon
two axles
Saddle-bottomed wagon
four axles
without roof with roof without roof with roof
Class Es Ea(o)s Taems
to 1979: Taes
Fcs Tds Fals Tals
Axle base 4.85 m 5.40 m 6.00 m
Bogie pivot pitch 9.00 m 7.50 m
Length over buffers 9.04 m 10.00 m 14.04 m 9.64 m 12.54 m
Loading length, min. 7.79 m 8.76 m 12.71 m 12.40 m
Loading area, ca. 22 m² 24 m² 35 m² 33 m²
Loading volume, ca. 36 m³ 36 m³ 71 m³ 74 m³ 40 m³ 38 m³ 75 m³ 72 m³
Unladen weight, max. 12.5 t 22.0 t 24.0 t 13.0 t 13.5 t 15.0 t 15.5 t
Doors per side 2 1 2 1
Door width 1.80 m 1.80 m 4.00 m

Class E - Ordinary open high-sided wagons

Eaos: A Polish (PKP), four-axle, ordinary, open wagon with 9.00 m bogie pivot pitch in Lauban
Eanos-x055:A longer, four-axle, ordinary, open wagon with steel floor and 10.70 m bogie pivot pitch

These wagons have a level floor and solid sides with at least one door on each side. They are mainly used for transporting bulk goods, coal, scrap, steel, wood and paper. The majority of wagons have folding sides and end walls, otherwise they are given the letters l (fixed sides) or o (fixed end walls). Wagons may have one or two folding end walls. Steel rings enable ropes, nets or covers to be attached to secure the load.

Some of these wagons can also be completely tipped over, in other words, at certain places they can be lifted up and emptied by being turned about their longitudinal axis. This requires a very robust underframe. This type of unloading is particularly widespread in the US in the transportation of bulk goods; the wagons being fitted with rotatable couplings so that they do not have to be individually uncoupled.

In 1998 the DB had about 16,000 four-axle Class E wagons. They have increasingly retired their twin-axled E wagons since the 1990s and they are now rarely seen.

Class F - Special open high-sided wagons

Fcs089:Open wagon with controllable self-discharge equipment and high chute (hopper wagon)

The majority of these are self-discharging hoppers which use gravity-unloading (hopper wagons and saddle-bottomed wagons), but in addition there are also:

  • Side-tipping wagons (box tip, trough-tip or side-tip wagon),
  • Bucket wagon, other open wagons without side doors
  • some East German wagons with steel floors were incorrectly grouped in this class

In 1998 the Deutsche Bahn had about 12,000 hopper wagons, 10,000 saddle-bottomed wagons and 1,000 side-tipping wagons. In addition to hopper and saddle-bottomed wagons there were also wagons with opening roofs.

Typical loads for these wagons are all sorts of bulk goods, like coal, coke, ore, sand or gravel. Because bulk goods are often moved in large quantities, these wagons are frequently used in so-called unit or block trains that only comprise one type of wagon and only shift one type of product from the dispatcher to the recipient.

Hopper wagons

Hopper wagons can only be unloaded by gravity with no external assistance and are therefore also classed as self-discharging wagons. The majority may be filled, when at rail or road level, by high-level discharge chutes (whose ends are more than 70 cm above the top of the rails) or conveyor belts. Because a controlled amount of the load can be discharged at any place the wagons may be sent anywhere and are even used individually. Railway companies also use hoppers as departmental wagons in maintenance of way trains for ballasting the track.

Since the 1990s there has been a trend for new hopper wagons to be built as bogie wagons which have not yet been standardised by the UIC.

Saddle-bottomed wagons

A Polish (PKP) Falns saddle-bottom wagon - a four-axle, open wagon with high-level gravity discharge to both sides and loading volume of 82 m³ - in Horka

Saddle-bottomed wagons are large-volume hoppers are exclusively unloaded by gravity and are therefore classed as self-discharging hoppers. Unlike normal hopper wagons, however, their discharge cannot be controlled and the entire load must be dropped. To unload the flaps on the side swing out allowing the load to empty. This is aided by the floor which slopes downwards on both sides like a gable roof. The discharging chutes on either side are relatively high up. These wagons are frequently seen in unit trains for transporting bulk goods such as coal or mineral ore from mines or ports to steelworks or power stations.

The most modern type of four axle saddle-bottomed wagon in the DB is the four axle Falns 121 with a loading volume of 90 m³. It was built from 1992 in several batches. By February 2008 another 100 of these wagons were to have been delivered to the DB and another 300 by 2010. These latest wagons will have an axle load of 23.5 t and an unladen weight of no more than 24.5 t, resulting in a load limit of 69.5 t.

Side-tipping wagons

Side-tipping wagons have hydraulic, pneumatic or electric tipping equipment, that enables the wagon body to be lifted on one side. Depending on the design, they may be tipped to both sides or just one side only. In order to prevent wagons from falling over during the tipping operation, some are equipped with track pinch bars with which they can be securely anchored to the trackbed. These wagons are often seen in unit trains being used to remove excavated material from major construction sites.

See also


  • Gerd Wolff: Die offenen Güterwagen der Regelbauart. Güterwagen-Lexikon DB. EK-Verlag, Freiburg (1991) ISBN 3-88255-649-8
  • Gerd Wolff: Die zweiachsigen Selbstentladewagen. Güterwagen-Lexikon DB. EK-Verlag, Freiburg (1993) ISBN 3-88255-657-9
  • Gerd Wolff: Die vierachsigen Selbstentladewagen / Die Staubbehälterwagen. Güterwagen-Lexikon DB. EK-Verlag, Freiburg (1994) ISBN 3-88255-658-7
  • Behrends H et al.: Güterwagen-Archiv (Band 2), Transpress VEB Verlag für Verkehrswesen, Berlin 1989.
  • Carstens S: Die Güterwagen der DB AG, MIBA-Verlang, Nürnberg 1998.
  • Carstens S et al.: Güterwagen (Band 3 und 4), MIBA-Verlag, Nürnberg 2003.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wagon Wheel, Oxnard, California — The Wagon Wheel Motel and Restaurant is a famous office and restaurant complex located in Oxnard, California, at the intersection of U.S. Route 101 and Pacific Coast Highway. Its convenient roadside location made it a popular stop for travelers… …   Wikipedia

  • Wagon Christ — Luke Vibert Pour les articles homonymes, voir Vibert. Luke Vibert …   Wikipédia en Français

  • wagon — I. noun Etymology: Dutch wagen, from Middle Dutch more at wain Date: 15th century 1. a. a usually four wheeled vehicle for transporting bulky commodities and drawn originally by animals b. a lighter typically horse drawn vehicle for transporting… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • wagon — UK [ˈwæɡən] / US noun [countable] Word forms wagon : singular wagon plural wagons 1) a vehicle with four wheels that is usually pulled by horses and is used for carrying heavy loads Hundreds of settlers travelled west in covered wagons. a horse… …   English dictionary

  • wagon — n. (also Brit. waggon) 1 a four wheeled vehicle for heavy loads, often with a removable tilt or cover. 2 Brit. a railway vehicle for goods, esp. an open truck. 3 a trolley for conveying tea etc. 4 (in full water wagon) a vehicle for carrying… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Wagon — n. (also Brit. waggon) 1 a four wheeled vehicle for heavy loads, often with a removable tilt or cover. 2 Brit. a railway vehicle for goods, esp. an open truck. 3 a trolley for conveying tea etc. 4 (in full water wagon) a vehicle for carrying… …   Useful english dictionary

  • wagon — noun 1 vehicle pulled by animals ADJECTIVE ▪ covered, open ▪ horse drawn ▪ hay, supply ▪ laden ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

  • wagon — wag|on [ wægən ] noun count * 1. ) a vehicle with four wheels that is usually pulled by horses and is used for carrying heavy loads: Hundreds of settlers traveled west in covered wagons. a horse drawn wagon 2. ) a small open CART with four wheels …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • open — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} verb 1 door, window, box, etc. ADVERB ▪ fully, wide ▪ She opened all the windows wide to let some fresh air in. ▪ gingerly ▪ Fred opened the box gingerly and peered inside …   Collocations dictionary

  • Open Air Campaigners — Basics Denomination: Interdenominational Main office (USA): Nazareth, Pennsylvania Year established …   Wikipedia