UWC actively increases its global presence in the regions that have functioning railways or that are building railways, and that use freight rolling stock.

№ 8 (September) 2018

Regions of operation

The freight car market in North America is the largest in the world, with the fleet reaching 1.85 mln units.
The region employs unified AAR standards for railcars1 and 1435-mm track gauge zone. A growth in demand is expected despite the current market downturn, and a tendency is being seen to shift production of rolling stock and components (including casting) to outside of the USA in order to cut costs. UWC has potential on the market thanks to a low product price as a result of depreciation of the rouble. In relation to this, the Company opened Uniwagon NA, a representative office in the USA that has successfully begun to supply components to major players in the railway market.

The freight car fleet in the Middle East consists of 35,000 units. American and modified Russian standards prevail in the region, and the track gauge zone is 1435 mm. The market is actively developing thanks to railway construction; by 2021, it is planned to construct more than two thousand kilometres of railroads as a part of a railway construction project that connects six countries in the Persian Gulf. Additional several thousand freight cars will be required for this project. To participate in this project, the Company initiated negotiations with potential customers.

The freight car market in Africa is characterised by high growth rates, and the total fleet volume is about 170,000 units. The applied standards and technical requirements for railcars differ significantly from country to country. A large number of railway construction projects with 1435-mm track gauge zone are implemented in the region; it is therefore predicted that the level of demand for standard 1435-mm track gauge zone and also narrow 1000-mm and 1067-mm track gauge zones will be at around five thousand railcars a year.

Europe has a freight car fleet consisting of 860,000 units. This region is characterised by high requirements for quality and product certification. TSI standards are in effect in Europe, and the predominant track gauge zone is 1435 mm (track gauge zones of 1520, 1524 and 1668 mm are seen much less frequently). In recent years, the demand reached five thousand freight cars per year and will remain at this level in the near future.

There are about 120,000 freight cars now in use on 1520-mm track in the Central Asian countries. These countries are industrially developed and have good railway infrastructure, which makes them an attractive long-term market for rolling-stock manufacturers. UWC sees much potential for its products in the region. Contracts have been signed this year for supply of all types of cars manufactured by the holding, including articulated cars. A network of maintenance centres for UWC cars is being created.

Prospective regions

Southeast Asia’s freight car fleet comprises 30,000 units. There are no common standards; both American and European requirements are used. At present, the narrow track gauge zone (1000 and 1067 mm) predominates; a railway with standard track gauge zone (1435 mm) is under construction.

Countries in this region invest massively in developing infrastructure in relation to the development of railways, meaning that growth in demand for freight cars is expected, which will amount to several thousand units a year according to estimates.

The total freight car fleet in South America currently consists of around 145,000 units. AAR standards prevail in this region, with track gauge zones ranging from 1000, 1067, 1435, 1600 and 1676 mm. Thanks to the construction of railways for export of raw materials and agricultural products, demand on the freight car market is increasing and is expected to reach 4,500 railcars per year.

The freight car fleet in Australia consists of a total of 66,000 units. The highest demand is for railcars with 1435-mm track gauge zone, which meets ARA standards; track gauge zones of 1000, 1067 and 1600 mm are seen much less frequently.

The region is appealing in terms of offering the most innovative solutions for super heavy haul railcars with an axle load of 40 t and more. The predicted demand is 2,500 railcars.

  1. With the exception of Cuba, which has similar standards to Russia.
Global market