Transportation by rail of oil and oil products in Russia began almost immediately after the appearance of railways in our country. At first, rail transportation of petroleum products was carried out to the central regions of the country, and with the development of the railway network, transportation became possible in almost all regions.
Railway transport is suitable for the delivery of any type of oil and products of its processing. Its share in the total traffic volume is about 40%. Transportation of petroleum products is mainly carried out in tank cars, and only a small part of such cargo (about 2 percent) is transported in smaller containers (cans, barrels and containers). For the transportation of certain types of lubricants and oils, as well as small batches of petroleum products, covered wagons are used.
Railway transport. general characteristics
All types of petroleum products, oil and liquefied gases are transported by rail. In the total traffic volume, it accounts for about 40%. Oil and oil products are transported by rail, usually in tank cars. Only a small part, about 2%, is transported in small containers - in barrels, containers and cans.
For transportation of certain types of oils, lubricants and small batches of light and dark petroleum products, covered wagons are used. A distinctive feature of rail transportation is the possibility of delivering oil products at any time of the year, thanks to which the majority of distribution bases are located on railway lines. However, rail transport has significant drawbacks. These include: large investments in the construction of new and reconstruction of existing tracks; relatively high operating costs for the transportation of oil compared with other types of transport (2-4 times more expensive than water and pipeline).
Oil and oil products are transported in railway tanks with a carrying capacity of 25, 50, 60, 90 and 120 tons. Four-axle tanks with a volume of 50 and 60 m 3 most common. Tank cars are formed into trains called bulk routes. Tanks are equipped with universal drain devices. They are installed in the lower part of the boiler tank and provide a complete discharge of oil.To limit the maximum allowable pressure and vacuum in railway tanks, over which dangerous stresses in the wall of the boiler can occur, tanks supply spring-loaded safety valves.
Tanks intended for the transport of highly viscous solidifying petroleum products, equip the outer steam jackets or internal devices for heating. The steam jacket provides heating (melting) of the boundary layer of frozen oil without heating the rest of its mass. Tanks with internal preheaters are usually provided with external thermal insulation (thermos tanks) to reduce heat losses when the tank is in transit.
For the transportation of bitumen as a very refractory oil product, special railway cars, called bunker gondola cars, are used. Their peculiarity lies in the fact that they consist of four bunkers with a steam jacket (of 11.8 m 3 each ) installed on the frame of the car.
By rail, petroleum products are also transported in containers. Containers are small tanks with a carrying capacity of 2.5 and 5 tons. They are installed on railway platforms and, upon arrival at their destination, are overloaded with cranes on trucks. In tank containers, mainly oils and lubricants are transported. Since oils and lubricants have a high viscosity, containers are provided with steam jackets for heating oil products when they are emptied.