Twenty-foot equivalent unit
The twenty-foot equivalent unit is an inexact unit of cargo capacity used to describe the capacity of container ships and container terminals. It is based on the volume of a 20-foot-long intermodal container, a standard-sized metal box which can be transferred between different modes of transportation, such as ships and trucks; the container is defined by its length though there is a lack of standardisation in regard to height, ranging between 4 feet 3 inches and 9 feet 6 inches, with the most common height being 8 feet 6 inches. It is common to designate 45-foot containers as 2 TEU, rather than 2.25 TEU. The standard intermodal container is designated as 8 feet wide. Additionally there is a standard container with the same width but a doubled length of forty feet called a 40-foot container, which equals one forty-foot equivalent unit in cargo transportation. In order to allow stacking of these types a forty-foot intermodal container has an exact length of 40 feet, while the standard twenty-foot intermodal container is shorter having an exact length of 19 feet 10.5 inches.
The twistlocks on a ship are put at a distance so that two standard twenty-foot containers have a gap of three inches which allows a single forty-foot container to be put on top. The forty-foot containers have found wider acceptance; the length of such a combination is within the limits of national road regulations in many countries, requiring no special permission. As some road regulations allow longer trucks, there are variations of the standard forty-foot container — in Europe and most other places a container of 45 feet may be pulled as a trailer. Containers with a length of 48 feet or 53 feet are restricted to road transport in the United States. Although longer than 40 feet, these variants are put in the same class of forty-foot equivalent units; as the TEU is an inexact unit, it cannot be converted into other units. The related unit forty-foot equivalent unit, however, is defined as two TEU; the most common dimensions for a 20-foot container are 20 feet long, 8 feet wide, 8 feet 6 inches high, for a volume of 1,360 cubic feet.
However, both 9-foot-6-inch-tall High cube and 4-foot-3-inch half height containers are reckoned as 1 TEU. This gives a volume range of 680 to 1,520 cubic feet for one TEU. While the TEU is not itself a measure of mass, some conclusions can be drawn about the maximum mass that a TEU can represent; the maximum gross mass for a 20-foot dry cargo container is 24,000 kilograms. Subtracting the tare mass of the container itself, the maximum amount of cargo per TEU is reduced to 21,600 kilograms; the maximum gross mass for a 40-foot dry cargo container is 30,480 kilograms. After correcting for tare weight, this gives a cargo capacity of 26,500 kilograms. Twenty-foot, "heavy tested" containers are available for heavy goods such as heavy machinery; these containers allow a maximum weight of 67,200 pounds, an empty weight of 5,290 pounds, a net load of 61,910 pounds. Container ship Container terminal Containerization List of unusual units of measurement Panama Canal toll system Shipping ton Maersk Shipping.
"Maersk Container Brochure". Maersk. Archived from the original on 2008-11-15. Retrieved 2008-10-25. CIRCA. "Glossary: TEU". The European Commission. Archived from the original on 2008-04-14. Retrieved 2008-03-20. Rowlett, Russ. "How Many? A Dictionary of Units of Measurement". University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 2008-03-20. Bohlman, Michael. "ISO's container standards are nothing but good news". ISO Bulletin. International Organisation for Standardisation: 15. Archived from the original on 2014-10-16. Retrieved 2008-03-20. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. "Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit". Glossary of Statistical Terms. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Retrieved 2008-03-20
In economics, cargo or freight refers to goods or produce being conveyed – for commercial gain – by water, air or land. Cargo was a shipload. Cargo now covers all types of freight, including that carried by train, truck, or intermodal container; the term cargo is used in case of goods in the cold-chain, because the perishable inventory is always in transit towards a final end-use when it is held in cold storage or other similar climate-controlled facility. Multi-modal container units, designed as reusable carriers to facilitate unit load handling of the goods contained, are referred to as cargo, specially by shipping lines and logistics operators. Aircraft ULD boxes are documented as cargo, with associated packing list of the items contained within; when empty containers are shipped each unit is documented as a cargo and when goods are stored within, the contents are termed as containerised cargo. Seaport terminals handle a wide range of maritime cargo. Automobiles are handled at many ports and are carried on specialized roll-on/roll-off ships.
Break bulk cargo is material stacked on pallets and lifted into and out of the hold of a vessel by cranes on the dock or aboard the ship itself. The volume of break bulk cargo has declined worldwide as containerization has grown. One way to secure break bulk and freight in intermodal containers is by using Dunnage Bags. Bulk cargo, such as salt, oil and scrap metal, is defined as commodities that are neither on pallets nor in containers. Bulk cargoes are not handled as individual pieces, the way heavy-lift and project cargoes are. Alumina, gypsum and wood chips, for instance, are bulk cargoes. Neo-bulk cargo comprises individual units that are counted as they are loaded and unloaded, in contrast to bulk cargo, not counted, but that are not containerized. Containers are the fastest growing cargo category at most ports worldwide. Containerized cargo includes everything from auto parts and manufacturing components to shoes and toys to frozen meat and seafood. Project cargo and the heavy lift cargo include items like manufacturing equipment, air conditioners, factory components, wind turbines, military equipment, any other oversized or overweight cargo, too big or too heavy to fit into a container.
Air cargo known as air freight, is collected by firms from shippers and delivered to customers. Aircraft were first used for carrying mail as cargo in 1911. Manufacturers started designing aircraft for other types of freight as well. There are many commercial aircraft suitable for carrying cargo such as the Boeing 747 and the bigger An‑124, purposely built for easy conversion into a cargo aircraft; such large aircraft employ quick-loading containers known as unit load devices, much like containerized cargo ships. The ULDs are located in the front section of the aircraft. Most nations own and utilize large numbers of military cargo aircraft such as the C‑17 Globemaster III for logistical needs. Popular commercial aircraft transformed to a cargo aircraft such as Saab 340A is designed for high revenue and profitability in short / medium haul operations. Trains are capable of transporting a large number of containers. Trains are used for the transportation of water, grain, steel and coal, they are used because they can carry a large amount and have a direct route to the destination.
Under the right circumstances, freight transport by rail is more economic and energy efficient than by road when carried in bulk or over long distances. The main disadvantage of rail freight is its lack of flexibility. For this reason, rail has lost much of the freight business to road transport. Rail freight is subject to transshipment costs, since it must be transferred from one mode of transportation to another. Practices such as containerization aim at minimizing these costs; when transporting point-to-point bulk loads such as cement or grain, with specialised bulk handling facilities at the rail sidings, rail mode of transport remains the most convenient and preferred option. Many governments are trying to encourage shippers to use trains more because of the environmental benefits. Many firms, like Parcelforce, R+L Carriers transport all types of cargo by road. Delivering everything from letters to houses to cargo containers, these firms offer fast, sometimes same-day, delivery. A good example of road cargo is food, as supermarkets require deliveries daily to replenish their shelves with goods.
Retailers and manufacturers of all kinds rely upon delivery trucks, be they full size semi trucks or smaller delivery vans. These smaller road haulage companies strive for the best routes and prices to ship out their products. Indeed, the level of commercial freight transported by smaller businesses is a good barometer of healthy economic development as it is these types of vehicles that move and transport anything, including couriers transporting parcel and mail. You can see the different weights of vehicles that are used to move cargo around. Freight is organized into various shipment categories before it is transported. An item's category is determined by: the type of item being carried. For example, a kettle could fit into the category'household goods'. How large the shipment is, in terms of both item size and quantity. How long the item for delivery will be in transit. Shipments are categorized as household goods, express and freight shipments: Household goods include furniture and similar items.
Small business or personal items like envelopes are considered overnight expres
Illegal logging is the harvest, purchase or sale of timber in violation of laws. The harvesting procedure itself may be illegal, including using corrupt means to gain access to forests. Illegality may occur during transport, such as illegal processing and export. Illegal logging is a pervasive problem, causing enormous damage to forests, local communities, the economies of producer countries. Despite the economic importance of trade in timber and forest products, major international timber consumer countries, such as the EU, have no legal means to halt the import of illegally sourced forest products, because the identification of illegally logged or traded timber is technically difficult. Therefore, a legal basis for normative acts against timber imports or other products manufactured out of illegal wood is missing. Scientific methods to pinpoint the geographic origin of timber are under development. Possible actions to restrict imports cannot meet with WTO regulations of non-discrimination, they must instead be arranged in bilateral agreements.
TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, strives to monitor the illegal trade of timber and provide expertise in policy and legal reviews. It is estimated that illegal logging on public land alone causes losses in assets and revenue in excess of 10 billion USD annually. Although exact figures are difficult to calculate, given the illegal nature of the activity, decent estimates show that more than half of the logging that takes place globally is illegal in open and vulnerable areas such as the Amazon Basin, Central Africa, Southeast Asia, the Russian Federation. Available figures and estimates must be treated with caution. Governments tend to underestimate the situation, given that high estimates of illegal logging may cause embarrassment as these suggest ineffective enforcement of legislation or worse and corruption. On the other hand, environmental NGOs publish alarming figures to raise awareness and to emphasise the need for stricter conservation measures. For companies in the forestry sector, publications making high estimates can be regarded as threatening for their reputation and their market perspective, including the competitiveness of wood in comparison to other materials.
However, for many countries, NGOs are the only source of information apart from state institutions, which clearly underestimate the true figures. For example, the Republic of Estonia calculated a rate of 1% illegally harvested timber in 2003, whereas it was estimated to reach as much as 50% by the NGO "Estonian Green Movement". In Latvia, the situation is comparable. Illegal logging contributes to deforestation and by extension global warming, causes loss of biodiversity, undermines the rule of law; these illegal activities undermine responsible forest management, encourage corruption and tax evasion and reduce the income of the producer countries, further limiting the resources producer countries can invest in sustainable development. Illegal logging has serious economic and social implications for the poor and disadvantaged with millions of dollars worth of timber revenue being lost each year. Furthermore, the illegal trade of forest resources undermines international security, is associated with corruption, money laundering, organized crime, human rights abuses and, in some cases, violent conflict.
In the forestry sector, cheap imports of illegal timber and forest products, together with the non-compliance of some economic players with basic social and environmental standards, destabilise international markets. This unfair competition affects those European companies the small and medium-sized companies that are behaving responsibly and ready to play by fair rules. An estimated 73 percent of all logging in Indonesia is believed to be illegal. Most of the methods adopted for deforestation in Indonesia are illegal for a multitude of reasons. Private corporations, motivated by economic profits from local and regional market demands for timber, are culpable for deforestation; these agro-industrial companies do not comply with the basic legal regulations by inappropriately employing cost effective yet environmentally inefficient deforestation methods such as forest fires to clear the land for agricultural purposes. The 1999 Forestry Law states that it is essential for companies to be endorsed by authorities in respective regions with an IPK permit, a timber harvesting permit, for legal approval of their deforestation activities.
Many of these corporations could circumvent this red tape, maximise revenue profits by employing illegal logging activities as lax law enforcement and porous law regulations in large developing countries like Indonesia undermine forestry conservation efforts. In the social landscape, small-scale subsistence farmers in rural areas, who received minimal education, employ a basic method of slash-and-burn to support their agricultural activities; this rudimentary agricultural technique involves the felling of forest trees before a dry season and, the burning of these trees in the following dry season to provide fertilisers to support their crop activities. This agricultural practice is repetitively employed on the same plot of land until it is denuded of its nutrients and could no longer suffice to support agricultural yields. Thereafter, these farmers will move on to occupy another plot of land and continually practice their slash-and-burn technique; this contributing social factor to deforestat
Illegal drug trade
The illegal drug trade or drug trafficking is a global black market dedicated to the cultivation, manufacture and sale of drugs that are subject to drug prohibition laws. Most jurisdictions prohibit trade, except under license, of many types of drugs through the use of drug prohibition laws; the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime's World Drug Report 2005 estimates the size of the global illicit drug market at US$321.6 billion in 2003 alone. With a world GDP of US$36 trillion in the same year, the illegal drug trade may be estimated as nearly 1% of total global trade. Consumption of illegal drugs is widespread globally and remains difficult for local authorities to thwart its popularity. Chinese authorities issued edicts against opium smoking in 1729, 1796 and 1800; the West prohibited addictive drugs throughout the late early 20th centuries. In the early 19th century, an illegal drug trade in China emerged; as a result, by 1838 the number of Chinese opium-addicts had grown to between four and twelve million.
The Chinese government responded by enforcing a ban on the import of opium. The United Kingdom forced China to allow British merchants to sell Indian-grown opium. Trading in opium was lucrative, smoking opium had become common in the 19th century, so British merchants increased trade with the Chinese; the Second Opium War broke out in 1856. After the two Opium Wars, the British Crown, via the treaties of Nanking, Tianjin, obligated the Chinese government to pay large sums of money for opium they had seized and destroyed, which were referred to as "reparations". In 1868, as a result of the increased use of opium, the UK restricted the sale of opium in Britain by implementing the 1868 Pharmacy Act. In the United States, control of opium remained under the control of individual US states until the introduction of the Harrison Act in 1914, after 12 international powers signed the International Opium Convention in 1912. Between 1920 and 1933 the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution banned alcohol in the United States.
Prohibition proved impossible to enforce and resulted in the rise of organized crime, including the modern American Mafia, which identified enormous business opportunities in the manufacturing and sale of illicit liquor. The beginning of the 21st century saw drug use increase in North America and Europe, with a increased demand for marijuana and cocaine; as a result, international organized crime syndicates such as the Sinaloa Cartel and'Ndrangheta have increased cooperation among each other in order to facilitate trans-Atlantic drug-trafficking. Use of another illicit drug, has increased in Europe. Drug trafficking is regarded by lawmakers as a serious offense around the world. Penalties depend on the type of drug, the quantity trafficked, where the drugs are sold and how they are distributed. If the drugs are sold to underage people the penalties for trafficking may be harsher than in other circumstances. Drug smuggling carries severe penalties in many countries. Sentencing may include lengthy periods of incarceration and the death penalty.
In December 2005, Van Tuong Nguyen, a 25-year-old Australian drug smuggler, was hanged in Singapore after being convicted in March 2004. In 2010, two people were sentenced to death in Malaysia for trafficking 1 kilogram of cannabis into the country. Execution is used as a deterrent, many have called upon much more effective measures to be taken by countries to tackle drug trafficking; the countries of drug production and transit are some of the most affected by the drug trade, though countries receiving the illegally imported substances are adversely affected. For example, Ecuador has absorbed up to 300,000 refugees from Colombia who are running from guerrillas and drug lords. While some applied for asylum, others are still illegal immigrants; the drugs that pass from Colombia through Ecuador to other parts of South America create economic and social problems. Honduras, through which an estimated 79% of cocaine passes on its way to the United States, has the highest murder rate in the world. According to the International Crisis Group, the most violent regions in Central America along the Guatemala–Honduras border, are correlated with an abundance of drug trafficking activity.
In many countries worldwide, the illegal drug trade is thought to be directly linked to violent crimes such as murder. This is true in all developing countries, such as Honduras, but is an issue for many developed countries worldwide. In the late 1990s in the United States the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimated that 5% of murders were drug-related. In Colombia, Drug violence can be caused by factors such as, the economy, poor governments, no authority within the law enforcement. After a crackdown by US and Mexican authorities in the first decade of the 21st century as part of tightened border security in the wake of the September 11 attacks, border violence inside Mexico surged; the Mexican government estimates. A report by the UK government's Drug Strategy Unit, leaked to the press, stated that due to the expensive price of addictive drugs heroin and coc
A container crane is a type of large dockside gantry crane found at container terminals for loading and unloading intermodal containers from container ships. Container cranes consist of a supporting framework that can traverse the length of a quay or yard on a rail track. Instead of a hook, they are equipped with a specialized handling tool called a spreader; the spreader can be lowered on top of a container and locks onto the container's four locking points using a twistlock mechanism. Cranes transport a single container at once, but some newer cranes have the capability to pick up two to four 20-foot containers at once. There are two common types of container handling gantry crane: high profile, where the boom is hinged at the waterside of the crane structure and lifted in the air to clear the ships for navigation, low profile, where the boom is shuttled toward and over the ship to allow the trolley to load and discharge containers. Low-profile cranes are used where they may be in the flight path of aircraft, such as where a container terminal is located close to an airport.
The type of crane selected in container terminal design process is determined by the design vessel and local environment. Container cranes are classified by their lifting capacity and the size of the container ships they can load and unload. Smaller container cranes, such as straddle carriers, are used at railway sidings to transfer containers from flatcars and well cars to semi-trailers or vice versa. Both the rolling stock and the trailers may pass under the base. Smaller container cranes are used at break-of-gauge transloading facilities. A Panamax crane can load and unload containers from a panamax class container ship capable of passing through the Panama Canal. A "post-Panamax" crane can load and unload containers from a container ship too large to pass through the Panama Canal; the largest modern container cranes are classified as "super-post-Panamax". A modern container crane capable of lifting two 20-foot long containers at once under the telescopic spreader will have a rated lifting capacity of 65 tonnes.
Some new cranes have a 120-tonne load capacity, enabling them to lift up to four 20-foot or two 40-foot containers. Cranes capable of lifting six 20-foot containers have been designed. Post-Panamax cranes weigh 800–900 tonnes, while the newer-generation super-post-Panamax cranes can weigh 1,600–2,000 tonnes. Super Post-Panamax Quay Cranes of Doosan make are equipped to handle safe working load of 41 MTs / 65 MTs / 85 MTs and has an outreach of 23 rows across the vessel; these cranes can handle the largest container vessel floating in the world today. The largest Super-post-Panamax cranes have an outreach of 25 container rows; the crane is driven by an operator. The trolley runs along rails located on the top or sides of the girder; the operator runs the trolley over the ship to lift the cargo containers. Once the spreader locks onto the container, the container is lifted, moved over the dock, placed on a truck chassis to be taken to the storage yard; the crane lifts containers from chassis on the dock to load them onto the ship.
Straddle carriers, reach stackers, or container lorries manoeuvre underneath the crane base and collect the containers moving them away from the dock and to a storage yard. Flatcars or well cars may be loaded directly beneath the crane base. A crane can be powered by two types of power supply: a diesel engine–driven generator located on top of the crane or electric power from the dock; the most common is by electric power from the dock. The voltage required may range from 4,000 to 13,200 volts. Cranes were used in harbors starting in the Middle Ages. Modern inter-modal containerization emerged in the mid-1950s from transport strategies developed in the Second World War and the Korean War, the development of specialized cranes paralleled developments in containerization; the first container cranes were built by Paceco for Matson terminals, in Oakland California in 1959. Gantry crane Rubber tyred gantry crane Straddle carrier Media related to Gantry cranes at Wikimedia Commons Media related to Intermodal containers at Wikimedia Commons Media related to Container terminals at Wikimedia Commons
Mode of transport
Means of transport is a term used to distinguish different means of conveyance. The different modes of transport are air and land transport, which includes Rails or railways and off-road transport. Other modes exist, including pipelines, cable transport, space transport. Human-powered transport and animal-powered transport are sometimes regarded as their own mode, but never fall into the other categories. In general, transportation is used for the movement of people and other things; each mode of transport has a fundamentally different technological solution, some require a separate environment. Each mode has its own infrastructure and operations. Animal-powered transport is the use of working animals for the movement of goods. Humans may ride some of the animals directly, use them as pack animals for carrying goods, or harness them, alone or in teams, to pull sleds or wheeled vehicles. A fixed-wing aircraft airplane, is a heavier-than-air flight vehicle, in which the special geometry of the wing generates lift.
Fixed-wing aircraft ranges from small trainers and recreational aircraft to large airliners and military cargo aircraft. For short distances or in places without runways, helicopters can be practical. Air transport is the fastest method of transport,made by Ayush Commercial jets reach speeds of up to 955 kilometres per hour and a higher ground speed if there is a jet stream tailwind, while piston-powered general aviation aircraft may reach up to 555 kilometres per hour or more; this celerity comes with higher cost and energy use, aviation's impacts to the environment and the global climate require consideration when comparing modes of transportation. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates a commercial jet's flight to have some 2-4 times the effect on the climate than if the same CO2 emissions were made at ground level, because of different atmospheric chemistry and radiative forcing effects at the higher altitude. U. S. airlines alone burned about 16.2 billion gallons of fuel during the twelve months between October 2013 and September 2014.
WHO estimates that globally as many as 500,000 people at a time are on planes. The global trend has been for increasing numbers of people to travel by air, individually to do so with increasing frequency and over longer distances, a dilemma that has the attention of climate scientists and other researchers, the press, the World Wide Web; the issue of impacts from frequent travel by air because of the longer distances that are covered in one or a few days, is called hypermobility and has been a topic of research and governmental concern for many years. Human powered transport, a form of sustainable transportation, is the transport of people and/or goods using human muscle-power, in the form of walking and swimming. Modern technology has allowed machines to enhance human power. Human-powered transport remains popular for reasons of cost-saving, physical exercise, environmentalism. Although humans are able to walk without infrastructure, the transport can be enhanced through the use of roads when using the human power with vehicles, such as bicycles and inline skates.
Human-powered vehicles have been developed for difficult environments, such as snow and water, by watercraft rowing and skiing. Land transport covers all land-based transportation systems that provide for the movement of people and services. Land transport plays a vital role in linking communities to each other. Land transport is a key factor in urban planning, it consists of 2 kinds and road. Now, some websites allow to combine different land transport to facilitate mobility. Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail track, known as a railway or railroad; the rails are anchored perpendicular to railroad train consists of one or more connected vehicles that run on the rails. Propulsion is provided by a locomotive, that hauls a series of unpowered cars, that can carry passengers or freight; the locomotive can be powered by electricity supplied by trackside systems. Alternatively, some or all the cars can be known as a multiple unit.
A train can be powered by horses, gravity and gas turbines. Railed vehicles move with much less friction than rubber tires on paved roads, making trains more energy efficient, though not as efficient as ships. Intercity trains are long-haul services connecting cities. Regional and commuter trains feed cities from suburbs and surrounding areas, while intra-urban transport is performed by high-capacity tramways and rapid transits making up the backbone of a city's public transport. Freight trains traditionally used box cars, unloading of the cargo. Since the 1960s, container trains have become the dominant solution for general freight, while large quantities of bulk are transported by dedicated trains. A road is an identifiable route of travel surfaced with gravel, asphalt or concrete, supporting land passage by foot or by a number of vehicles; the most common road vehicle in the developed world is the automobile, a wheeled passenger vehicle that carries its own motor. As of 2002, there were 591 million automobiles worldwide.
Other users of roads include
A variable gauge system allows railway vehicles in a train to travel across a break of gauge caused by two railway networks with differing track gauges. For through-operation, a train must be equipped with special trucks holding variable gauge wheelsets containing a variable gauge axle; the gauge is altered by driving the train through gauge changing facility. As the train passes through the gauge changer, the wheels are unlocked, moved closer together, or further apart, are re-locked. Installed variable gauge systems exist within the internal network of Spain, are installed on international links between Spain/France, Sweden/Finland, Poland/Lithuania and Poland/Ukraine. A system for changing gauge, without need for stopping is widespread for passenger traffic in Spain, used in services run on a mix of dedicated high-speed lines and older lines. Similar systems for freight traffic are still rather incipient, as the higher axle weight increases the technological challenge. Although several alternatives exist, including transferring freight, replacing individual wheels and axles, truck exchange, transporter flatcars or the simple transshipment of freight or passengers, they are impractical, thus a cheap and fast system for changing gauge would be beneficial for cross-border freight traffic.
Alternative names include Gauge Adjustable Wheelsets, Automatic Track Gauge Changeover System, Rolling Stock Re-Gauging System, Rail Gauge Adjustment System, Shifting wheelset, Variable Gauge Rolling Truck, track gauge change and track change wheelset. Variable gauge axles help solve the problem of a break-of-gauge without having to resort to dual gauge tracks or transshipment. Systems allow the adjustment between two gauges. No gauge changer designs supporting. There are several variable gauge axle systems: Talgo-RD; the Talgo system has been in revenue service in Portbou and Irun, on the Spanish-French border, since 1968 It is used on the Strizh train between Moscow and Berlin. CAF-BRAVA The BRAVA system was designed in 1968 by the Vevey Company, a company located in the city of Vevey on Lake Geneva, in Switzerland; the system was called the "Vevey axle". The design was subsequently improved by Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles. DB Cargo–Knorr-Bremse. Being developed in 2002 for use between Europe and Russia.
DBAG–Rafil Type V for freight. Japan Railways RTRI to be used on motorised axles. PKP SUW 2000 system produced by ZNTK Poznań for Polish State Railways; the Montreux-Oberland Bernois railway, Switzerland in preparation by Prose of Winterthur 1,435 mm /1,000 mm. The variable gauge systems are not themselves all compatible. Only the SUW 2000 and Rafil Type V systems are interoperable. In 2009, at Roda de Barà near Tarragona, a Unichanger capable of handle four different VGA systems was under development. VGA is important with international railway traffic because gauge changes tend to occur more at international borders; the maximum speed of the trains equipped with the different technologies vary. Only CAF and Talgo produce high-speed VGA. A gauge changer is a device. Designs consist of a pair of running rails that vary in width between the two gauges, combined with other rails and levers to unlock, support and re-lock the adjustable axles. In the Spanish Talgo-RD system, a constant spray of water is used to lubricate the metal surfaces, to reduce heat and wear.
A Talgo-RD gauge changer is 6 metres wide. Variable gauge multiple units, or a train including a variable gauge locomotive and rolling stock, may drive straight across a gauge changer; the locomotive will not be able to change gauge, meaning that it must move out of the way whilst the remainder of the train itself passes through. On the opposite side, a new locomotive of the other gauge will couple to the train. A train can be pushed halfway across the gauge-changer and coupled to the new locomotive and pulled the rest of the way. A long length of wire-rope with hooks on the end means that the process can be asynchronous, with the rope used to bridge across the length of the gauge changer. On long-distance trains in Spain and night trains crossing from Spain into France, the arriving locomotive stops just short of the gauge changer and moves into a short siding out of the way. Gravity moves the train through the gauge changer at a controlled low speed; the new locomotive is coupled onto the front only after the full train has finished passing through the changer.
In 1933, as many as 140 inventions were offered to Australia railways to overcome the breaks of gauge between the different states. None was accepted. About 20 of these devices were adjustable wheels/axles of some kind or another, which may be analogous to the modern VGA. VGA systems were intended for Broad Gauge and Standard Gauge lines. Variable gauge axles were used for a while on the Grand Trunk Railway in the 1860s in Canada to connect 5 ft 6 in and 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in standard gauge without transshipment. Five-hundred vehicles were fitted with "adjustable gauge tr