East Coast Railway will step up loading to reach traffic target

Kolkata | Updated on October 24, 2011

A goods train loaded with coal

The East Coast Railway (ECoR) has to load on a sustained basis 5,200 wagons a day on an average in the remainder of the current fiscal if it is to hit the targeted traffic of 120 million tonnes (mt) in 20011-12, according to ECoR sources.

The average daily loading so far in the current fiscal has been around 4,750 wagons, it is learnt.

September was particularly bad when the average coal loading at Talcher dropped to 15 rakes a day against the normal 25/26 rakes. “We are geared to load even up to 30 rakes a day at Talcher but where is the coal?, observe sources.

Talcher scene

The situation in October has improved but the daily average loading so far has been around 20 rakes a day. The road transportation of coal from pitheads to railheads leaves much to be desired, also causing delay in rake loading. It is now taking more than six hours to load a rake against three hours in normal situation, add sources.

Coal accounts for a little less than 60 per cent ECoR's total traffic.

The target for coal traffic in the current fiscal has been set at 69 mt. Till September, the coal throughput was 31.3 mt out of the total traffic of 55.8 mt.

However, the shortfall in domestic coal loading, particularly at Talcher, has been compensated to a large extent by steady loading of imported coal at three ports namely Paradip, Gangavaram and Visakhapatnam.

“We re loading seven to eight rakes a day at Paradip”, say the sources pointing out that the loading at Gangavarm and Visakhapatnam too has been satisfactory.

Dharma port

However, the loading at Dhamra port, promoted jointly by Tata Steel and L&T, has been bad for the past few days due to the breakdown of the conveyor system in the port.

The throughput/rake, therefore, has dropped to around 600 tonnes from the earlier 3,000 tonnes or so. As a result fewer rakes are now being loaded a day.

The iron ore exports having dropped virtually to zero, ECoR has to move the empty rakes to ports to load imported coal.

This adds to the cost. Earlier rakes carrying iron ore exports to ports used to backload imported coal. Not any more.

Published on October 24, 2011

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