Will look to take on car transport market

Mamuni Das

New Delhi, July 19 Eight cars accommodated in two smaller sized, double stack containers, were transported under the electric wire from inland container depot at Tughlakabad (Delhi) to Palwal station on Thursday. This is Indian Railways’ maiden attempt to move double stack containers in electrified routes under electric wire.

This could help Indian Railways capture the car transportation market in the country by moving almost double the number of cars per train against the present capacity.

“We started from Tughlakabad inland container depot (ICD) today with two containers — each carrying four Maruti 800 model cars. Travelling at a speed of 75 kilometre per hour, we reached Palwal. On Friday, we plan to move from Palwal to Mathura — a distance of 60 km under the electric wire,” Mr Naresh Kumar, Vice President (Technical), Pipavav Rail Corporation Limited (PRCL), who is a part of the pilot project, told

Business Line

.

Pipavav Rail Corporation, a joint venture between Indian Railways and Gujarat Pipavav Port Ltd, has designed these containers.

Cars per train

By using these specially designed containers in electrified routes, 360 small cars or 270 medium or large cars can be moved per train. On specific diesel routes, triple stack containers can be moved, thus accommodating 440 small cars or 405 medium or large sized cars per train.

At present, to move cars, Indian Railways uses specially designed coaches and each train can accommodate 120 cars of any size. The ISO standard sized containers are not used to move automobiles in the country because it is not commercially viable — each 40 feet equivalent unit container can accommodate three cars only and each train can accommodate 135 cars.

Early this year, PRCL had conducted initial trials by accommodating the cars in specially designed container prototype. These smaller containers are lower in height (about 6 feet 4 inches) and have slightly more length than the ISO-standard sized containers (8.5x40 feet and 9.5x40 feet). Thus a rake with 45 flat wagons can actually move double stack containers, of the specially designed type, on the electrified train routes (under wire).

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 20, 2007)
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