By the end of December, the average daily number of oil and petrol tank cars abandoned on the Russian Railways has reached 9,000 and continues to grow. This is a record number in five years. It is also 2.4 times more than in late 2020, RBC reports.
As of December 27, as many as 1,125 trains have been abandoned on the network of the Russian Railways. This is nearly 79,000 railway freight cars. The trains have been abandoned on the tracks after the Russian Railways decided to raise freight tariffs by 6.8 percent starting from 2022.
For example, Transoil, one of the largest oil cargo railway operators, has more than 3,000 tank cars stalled. Some of them have been left on tracks near the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, where temperatures drop to -45C.
Frozen tank cars cause delays with the handling of other cars that arrive to be unloaded. Such a situation has occurred due to the end of river navigation, worsening weather conditions, increased demand for coal, and higher prices for oil and oil products. Downtime also occurs due to a shortage of locomotives and long weather-caused delays at ports. For example, fuel oil becomes too thick at subzero temperatures. As a result, the process to unload one fuel oil tank takes up to 70, instead of 10 hours at some terminals.