Transportation of cars through Indian Railways rises 68% on yearly basis
Number of small passenger vehicles being transported through Indian Railways has increased by 68 per cent on a yearly basis during the first five months of the current financial year, i.e., April to August. Till the end of last month, 2,206 rakes of cars were loaded on to railways, as per a statement from the Ministry of Railways. The figure for the entire 2021-22, it was at 3,344.
The share of the transportation of passenger vehicles through railways increased from just 1.5 per cent in 2013-14 to 16 per cent in 2021-22. Railways help the automobile industry transport bulk volumes over long distances quickly while also being a cleaner mode of transportation, helping reduce their carbon footprint.
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The statement from the ministry said that rise in automobile traffic has been the result of various initiatives such as the availability of specialized privately owned wagons. "On the basis of the issues raised by the stakeholders in the automobile industry, including Society for Indian Automobiles Manufactures (SIAM), the Automobile Freight Train Operator (AFTO) policy has been liberalized from time to time. It allows automobile manufacturers to own their wagons specialized for their needs," the ministry's statement said.
Further, the ministry added a new design of auto-carrier wagons to accommodate SUV cars, that is under finalization. "To facilitate loading /unloading of automobiles, design-modification to the existing NMG wagons is also under execution (NMGH and NMGHS) based on the suggestions received from investors/logistics providers."
Currently, Indian Railway has a fleet of 90 newly-modified goods rakes. Additionally, 43 BCACBM rakes have been inducted by approved train operators under the Automobile Freight Train Operator scheme. Besides this, more terminals are being opened up for automobile traffic as per demands of the industry, it added.