RCH: Single wagons help Hungary meet winter energy demand

RCH: Single wagons help Hungary meet winter energy demand

Since October 2022, Rail Cargo Hungaria has transported 30,000 m3 of solid fuel to its destination. In the first four weeks of 2023 alone, 6,000 m3 of officially priced firewood was transported from forestry production sites to retail outlets.

Wood to meet the winter energy needs of families is supplied by forestry companies in western Hungary, from where RCH transports it to the wood-poor Great Plain and the Budapest area. Sales points are located up to 300-400 kilometres from the production site, so the mileage of RCH's trains reaches hundreds of thousands of kilometres.

Single-wagonload firewood transport is an extremely complex and resource-intensive rail service: depending on the felling, forestry companies deliver two to three wagons of firewood to 29 loading points. From there, RCH locomotives take the loaded wagons to a marshalling yard, where trains are formed and block trains are forwarded to 12 destinations. To complete one of these transport tasks, 4 to 5 shunting operations have to be carried out at each marshalling yard by a separate shunting locomotive. For example, the Lenti-Nagycsere route is completed by five separate trains through marshalling yards.

This activity, which consists of costly subtasks, is made possible by the state support system for single wagonload traffic, which provides partial compensation for the costs of shunting locomotives operating on the secondary line, shunting, technical, commercial and operational staff, and the costs of operating marshalling yards. To date, the rail freight company has used some 750 special wagons for the transport of cylindrical firewood, and hundreds of specialists are involved in the management of the trains.

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