The Indian Railways has taken ambitious steps to increase its modal share of Automobile loading, the shares are expected to rise to 20% by 2021- 2022 and by end of the years 2023- 2024, it aims at achieving 30% of the total Automobile loading share. To further its objectives, Minister of Railways, Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal, held a meet up with leading faces in the Automobile Industry and discussed methods as well as benefits of boosting Automobile loading through Railways. Reps from huge corporations like SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers), Tata Motors, Hyundai, Ford, Mahindra & Mahindra, Honda India, The Automobile Freight Train Operators (AFTOs), Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA) and many more showed up for the meeting and conclusively committed to assist Indian Railways in this transportation project. The amount of Automobile loading by Indian Railways has slowly and steadily grown through the years.
Growing to a staggering 1,595 rakes in 2019-20, the 429 rakes of automobile loading in 2013-14 seems inconsequential in comparison; this shows the immense promise that transporting automobile through railways carries for the automobile business. Additionally, for the present year of 2020- a total of 836 rakes have already been loaded from the months April to September. Keeping in mind that last year saw a total of 731 rakes and the first two months of this year had negligible loading, the climb in numbers is a positive indication of the Railway’s work. In order to persuade automobile giants to bring more loading to rail, several steps have been taken for the same. Charges like terminal charge for automobile traffic and haulage charges for BCACBM rakes have either been completely exempted or not revised for years, respectively. Permissions like dual destination loading in NMG rakes and automobile exports have also been granted.
The number of NMG rakes has been increased to 42 and the freight for these has not been reviewed since May 2018. In addition to these, railway has also opened seven new terminals exclusively for automobile loading, now accounting for a total of 52 railway terminals open for this. It was obvious from their praises and applauds that the automobile representatives were ecstatic to hear the proposition from Indian railways. As a result, they wholeheartedly gave their assent to bringing in more automobile loading towards the rail. New terminals were opened as per the demands of this industry and Indian Railways has also joined hands with Bangladesh Railway to plan rake export to this neighbouring country. This new project by the railway has guaranteed great potential which will be tested in the coming years and for ensuring that the automobile industry continues to partner with them, they assured the representatives that each and every single one of their concerns will be handled on a first priority basis. This project is a symbiotic relation between the two parties wherein the automobile industries as well as the railways are sure to seize great profits.
Steps taken to facilitate Automobile loading:
- a) Haulage Charges for BCACBM rakes have not been revised since May 2013
- b) Freight for NMGs has not been revised since May 2018
- c) Increase in the number of NMG rakes – from 30 (on 1st April) to 42
- d) Two-destination loading permitted in NMG rakes
- e) Export of Automobiles permitted:
- i)Traffic to Bangladesh started in NMG rakes
- ii)Traffic to Nepal started, via Nautanva terminal (NE Railway)
- f) 7 new terminals opened for Automobile loading
Chitpur (ER); Penukonda (SWR); Nasrala (NR); Nautanva (NER) – for traffic to Nepal; Salchapara,
Furkating, & New Tinsukia (all NFR)
- g) Now approx. 52 Railway terminals available
- h) All Private Sidings, PFTs, and ICDs can handle Automobile traffic
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