Rail Weighing Solution Irons Out Overloading for Tata Steel

An in motion train weighing system from Avery Weigh-Tronix is preventing the overloading of freight trains with iron ore at Immingham docks, UK, without slowing down the filling process. Since installing the system, Network Rail has reported that of the up to 400 Tata Steel freight trains that leave per month, less than 0.01 percent have been overweight.

Freight wagons are filled with imported iron ore which is then transported to the company’s Scunthorpe steel works. Freight trains’ wagons and the associated individual axles travelling on Network Rail’s tracks must not be overloaded for safety reasons and to prevent wear on the rails. They are checked by a weighing system on their lines.

A typical 24 wagon train is loaded and dispatched in 20 minutes. Tata Steel cannot afford to delay the loading process because they may miss their time slot for a freight train on the rail network.

Says Geoff Scorthorne, Improvement Engineer, at Tata Steel: “Overloading is something that we obviously need to avoid, but at the same time underloading a wagon by too much is inefficient. Knowing the weights in each wagon and across each axle enables us to improve our transport efficiency. The Weighline in motion weighing system enables us to achieve this accuracy without compromising our loading time, which means that we do not miss our train slots allotted by Network Rail.”

The Weighline system will weigh trains while they are moving with individual wagons weighed to an accuracy of better than +/- 0.5 percent. The I-Line software and control system also identifies and alerts the operator to overloaded wagons and axles and records all of the weights for future reporting.