Railway Ministry to Unveil 'Space-Age' Transformer Wagon

In August 2003 the Russian Railway Ministry will unveil a transformer wagon made of polycarbonate, a material previously used in the space industry. This was announced at a press conference yesterday by Deputy Railway Minister Yuri Dyakonov.

Dyakonov explained that demountable polycarbonate panels would allow the configuration of the wagon to be changed in the space of 2 or 3 minutes. The wagon can be converted into a sleeping car, a compartmentalized carriage or an open carriage. Dyakonov said that transformer wagons would enable 'occupancy' rates to be controlled, and passengers to be provided with the travelling conditions they desire. The efficiency of rolling stock use would also be improved. According to Dyakonov, efficiency savings for each wagon introduced would be over 360,000 roubles a year (USD 11,400), with the weight of each wagon reduced by at least 2.5 tonnes.

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