New Delhi: Indian Railways is taking the help of a US-based railroad research organisation to study the impact of higher freight traffic load on tracks.
Former railway board chairman JP Batra said Transport Technology Centre (TTC) of the US would do the study jointly with the Research Design and Standard Organisation to assist the railway in increasing load-carrying capability on the tracks, increasing the wagons’ speed and related matters.
The study would also focus on the exact impact of increase in axle load. Railways in developed countries including South Africa, Canada, Australia have also adopted the similar method to shift to higher axle load traffic.
Railways has allowed higher loadings in wagons by increasing the per axle load from 20 tonnes to 22.9 tonnes on certain routes in the recent past.
Pratap Srivastav, additional member (Planning) said, “we are planning to further increase the per axle load to 25 tonnes from 22.9 tonnes and certain routes have been identified to run the wagons. This will help railway to carry 15 per cent more goods in our freight trains than the existing load.”
Srivastav said with the increase of production in steel, iron ore, coal, finished steel it was necessary to increase the axle load to cater to the growing transport demand of the industry. Besides the increased axle load there is also a need to increase the number of w agons to carry maximum goods.
The finished steel from the eastern region is likely to flow to northern, western and southern regions.
While Indian Railways is currently equipped to carry maximum of 58 wagons on the track at a time, the number of wagons carried at a time is much more in developed countries.
“We are gearing up up for heavy haul operations in freight business and for that we have to increase our loading capacity. The railway is undertaking a massive exercise to facilitate the smooth movement of goods to our stations. We have identified about 50 goodsheds where work like construction of roads connecting the sheds and providing modern facilities in loading and unloading would be carried out soon,” said Srivastav.
While 750 million tonnes of goods are expected to be carried in the current fiscal, railways expects to carry more than 1100 MT of revenue earning freight traffic by the end of 11th Five year Plan. The dedicated high axle load freight corridor with computerised control is proposed on western and eastern routes at an estimated cost of over Rs22,000 crore.