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Railways carry enormous quantities of many things essential to our daily life such as foodstuffs, steel, coal, etc, that is why many and varied types of carriages and wagons are needed on a railway system. All these cars have different structure.

The freight rolling stock consists of boxcars1, open-box cars2, flat cars3 and many kinds of special wagons. The boxcar is the most common type employed to transport products requiring protection from weather. A special type of boxcar is a refrigerator car used for hauling food products. Another type of car is a tank car4 intended for liquid goods. Coal, gravel, ore and other similar goods are conveyed in open-top cars designed for mechanized loading and unloading. The simplest type of car is the flat car used to carry heavy machinery parts, steel rails, timber, as well as containers.

Special wagons are intended for transportation of certain freight (for freight in bulk, bucket wagons for bitumen, wagons with double decks, etc.)

Container traffic5 is a progressive method of delivering freight from door to door. It offers a solution in the eternal door-to-door competition of railways against road vehicles. Transportation of freight in containers gives the most positive results. Generally, goods are packed into containers at factories or warehouses6, and containers then loaded on ordinary flat wagons. There is also a special category of containers, which require specially adapted wagons. Containers not only protect the most delicate products but also reduce the cost of loading and unloading.

In the United States this container principle is now being carried a great deal further by what is known as piggyback7 transport. Modern methods are applied to the movement of freight so as to reduce to a minimum manual labour. One such method is known as palletization8.

Ukrainian railways are equipped with new high-capacity, multiple-wheel freight cars9. These cars with automatic brakes and automatic coupling ensure high-speed haulage10 of very heavy trains. Freight cars of today are made largely of steel, as it is stronger than wood and will not burn.

1 box car – товарний вагон

2 open-box car – відкритий товарний вагон

3 flat car – вагон–платформа

4 tank car – цистерна

5 container traffic – контейнерні перевезення

6 warehouse – склад, складське приміщення

7 piggyback transport – контрейлерне перевезення (перевезення навантажених причепів та вантажних автомобілів на залізничних платформах)

8 palletization – транспортування вантажів на піддонах або носилках до місця розвантаження

9 multiple wheel freight car – багатовісний вантажний вагон

10 automatic coupling – автоматична зчіпка

11 high-speed haulage – високошвидкісні перевезення

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