Follow Us On

  • Facebook


The introduction of cassette-type bearings will increase the efficiency of the transportation process on Russian railways

The railway administration of the Russian Federation supported the adoption of the issue of switching to cassette-type bearings from January 1, 2021. This was announced by Deputy Minister of Transport Vladimir Tokarev. He explained that the issue will be discussed at the 68th meeting of the Carriage Commission on September 10-12 in Saransk for its approval and subsequent approval by the Council on Rail Transport of the Commonwealth member states.

The transition is planned to be carried out after the overhaul of wheelsets formed using new wheels.

The prospective development of railway transport, solving problems of increasing throughput and carrying capacity, reducing operating costs, as well as more efficient use of rolling stock, increasing its reliability is impossible without improving the design of freight cars, introducing new promising units and parts.

VNIIZHT JSC prepared a corresponding notice on amendments to the “Guidance document for the repair and maintenance of wheelsets with axle boxes of freight cars of 1520 (1524) mm gauge main railroads”, approved by the Council for Railway Transport of the Commonwealth Member States (protocol from 16 October 17, 2012 No. 57).

The transition to cassette-type bearings is proposed to begin on January 1, 2021 after the overhaul of wheelsets formed using new wheels is completed. It is planned to mount cassette-type bearings on them without fail. Given the life cycle of the wheelset, a planned replacement will take from 8 to 10 years.

Vladimir Tokarev noted that the transition should take place in a planned evolutionary way, and the established transition period will allow for the preparation of production. One of the main tasks of the transition period is to increase the localization of production of these products in Russia and increase production capacity. The Ministry of Transport will establish appropriate control for the prompt resolution of emerging issues.

The decision was promoted by a deep analysis of comparing the effectiveness and reliability of cassette and roller bearings. So, on September 3, a corresponding meeting of the technical council was held in Roszheldor with the participation of cartridge bearings manufacturers, representatives of Russian Railways, scientific organizations, car builders, car repair enterprises and rolling stock operators.

Most of the meeting participants unconditionally supported the need to transfer the fleet of freight cars to the use of cassette-type bearings both in new car building and in the repair of used cars. Also expressed readiness to implement the process of such a transfer. The necessity of making changes to the design and operational documentation when using cassette bearings in existing designs of running gears of freight cars is supported. Manufacturers of cassette bearings were recommended to take measures to ensure up to 100% localization of production of these products in the Russian Federation.

All manufacturers of cassette bearings are aimed at the long-term development of their capacities in our country, for which they all work towards maximum localization of production. His current level: Brenko, SKF - 85%, Timken - 40%.

Analysis of the operation of freight wagons equipped with roller bearings, according to Russian Railways, shows that in 2018 alone, disconnection of freight wagons for current repair due to malfunction of axle boxes equipped with roller bearings amounted to 35 uncouplings per 1 thousand of wagons brought into the fleet. At the same time, the unhooks of freight cars with axlebox units of the cassette type amounted to 7 unhooks per 1 thousand of wagons brought, i.e. five times less. The transition to cassette-type bearings will have a positive effect on reducing the disconnection of freight cars for unscheduled repairs and will lead to lower costs for it on the life cycle of the car.

The life cycle of a wheel set equipped with roller bearings, based on statistics for model 12-132 gondola cars, is 6 years. At the same time, for gondola cars equipped with cassette bearings, the life cycle of a wheelset is from 11 to 20 years.

It should be noted that according to the results of amendments to TU VNIIPP.048-1-00 “Rolling bearings for railway rolling stock. Ball bearings, cylindrical and spherical bearings. Specifications part 1 "subsection 3.11" Designated service life "is canceled. In this regard, the service life of cylindrical bearings was reduced to 3 years.

Considering that the service life of cassette-type bearings is 16 years, and that of roller bearings is 3 years, the latter will have to be changed more than five times. Accordingly, with an estimated cost of a cassette bearing of 26 thousand rubles, the cost per wheel pair will amount to 52 thousand rubles. At the same time, taking into account the cost of a roller bearing, 3.5 thousand rubles. total costs for the same period will amount to more than 70 thousand rubles.

The world experience in the use of cassette bearings shows that the issue of switching to their use is of a strategic nature and is certainly one of the priority areas for the development of railway transport.

Since 1966, the Association of North American Railways (AAR) obliges the installation of cassette bearings on all new 100-ton railcars (30 tons axle load). Since 1968, the AAR obliges the installation of cassette bearings on all new wagons. Since 1976, the “lack of lubrication in operation” scheme has been implemented. Since 1978, more than 70% of the freight car fleet has been transferred to cassette bearings, which together has led to a decrease in bearing failures by 25 times compared to the 1955 level. Since 1992, the AAR has increased the permitted load for 100-ton railcars to 32.5 tons per axle.

In order to reduce operating costs by increasing maintenance intervals, simplifying maintenance operations, improving performance and improving safety on European Railways, cassette bearings are used. Through the use of a standard fastener system, cassette bearings are also mounted on existing wheeled trolleys of previous versions.


Having appreciated the benefits of cassette bearings, Chinese Railways switched to their use in record time - 3 years. This allows you to increase the speed of movement of goods along national railways from 80-100 km / h to 160 km / h.

© Copyright 2010-16 Invest in Russia Hanko Hackberry Group All rights reserved.