High-axle wagons for coal to ease movement

Pratim Ranjan Bose Kolkata | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on February 25, 2016

Introduction of the 25-tonne axle load wagons will ease coal movement from Talcher, Ib and Korba coalfields significantly by the end of the next fiscal. Coal movement to the southern states may receive immediate boost.

Coal India is pursuing major expansion plans in the three coalfields. The company has also agreed to fund acquisition of 2,000 such wagons that are expected to hit the tracks by end 2016.

The new wagons will have a carrying capacity of 80 tonnes against the 70-tonne wagons currently in use in India. It means every goods train fitted with new wagons will carry 14 per cent more load, helping faster evacuation of coal.

Indian Railways has already identified three lines, for strengthening of track as well as bridges and culverts. They are: Jharsuguda-Nagpur, Talcher Paradip and Bhadrak-Cuttack-Vizag.

Jharsuguda-Nagpur will un-lock the mining potential in resource rich Ib-valley coalfield in Odisha and will help enhance mining operations in Korba in Chhatoshgarh. Mining activity in Ib-valley will also receive a shot in the arm with the scheduled completion of the 48-km Jharsuguda-Barapali rail link this year.

Strengthening of Talcher-Paradip section will help evacuation of coal to Tamil Nadu through coastal shipping. Bhadrak-Cuttack-Vizag will help movement of Talcher coal to Andhra Pradesh in the South.

Meanwhile, coal consumers are looking forward to the long-term tariff contract with pre-determined price escalation clauses (as in power purchase or fuel supply agreements) as a way forward.

It will ensure competitiveness of rail cargo over road. On the other hand, it will spare “key consumers” from the uncertainty of tariff rise. While the detailed guidelines are to be out, the initiative should come handy to power plants, steel and cement sector.

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Published on February 25, 2016
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