A little over two years since the country’s first dedicated milk train, christened the ‘Amul Train’ began plying between Palanpur and Kanpur, a second milk train has begun to run between Daund in Pune division to New Delhi since the last couple of months.
The 15-rake train transports six lakh litres of processed cow’s milk for a trip from four milk producing districts of Maharashtra to Mother Dairy – counted amongst the country’s largest dairies - for distribution mainly in the National Capital Region.
In fact, the success of what began as a weekly operation has led to its frequency being doubled and two trains a week have been doing the trip since last weeks.
With the various Railway Boards in the 1,500 km journey, according priority status to the train, preceded only by passenger trains, the one-way trip takes between 24 and 36 hours.
Vinay Thakur, Director, Swaraj India Industries, one of the supplier dairies from Phaltan says that while milk was being despatched by road to Mother Dairy from the region for the last four years, the train has helped cut the time as well as the cost considerably.
“We had been trying for permissions for nearly a year, as co-ordination from authorities of different sectors of the Indian Railways were involved,” he says.
While the Central Railway has provided facilities at Daund like yard space, water and electricity to facilitate washing of the tankers, Mother Dairy has rented the railway milk tankers (RMT) from the National Dairy Development Board.
Narendra Patil, Senior Division - Operations Manager, says that the Railways earns Rs 13.7 lakh in freight a trip.