To capture the rapidly growing E-commerce space and Parcel courier segment Indian railways are all set to launch its first semi-high speed freight train with 160 kmph max speed by December, officials said Friday.
Replicating the concept of Vande Bharat trains, the 16-coach ‘Gati Shakti’ train will be manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai.
“The design work for these trains has already started. We have also given the order for material, by December this year, we will be able to manufacture two of these trains,” ICF General Manager A K Agarwal said, adding that an overall target of 25 such trains has been set.
The final number of trains will depend on how the initial ones are received by the market, he added.
Equipped with refrigerated wagons in the rear end and in the front to carry perishables like milk products, fish, fruit, and vegetables.
Electricity connection for these wagons will be provided by the coach.
The distributed power of the train which has every alternate coach a powered vehicle will result in double the horsepower of a 16-car Shatabdi express train ( 12000 HP as compared to 6000 HP provided by 6000 HP locomotive provided at the head of Shatabdi express) and therefore will result in quick negotiation of permanent and temporary speed restrictions and will ensure that train doesn’t lose speed in graded sections.
The distributed power also results in less stress on couplings connecting cars resulting in the use of high-quality jerk-free couplers.
The rest of the coaches will have rollers for moving the container. Each coach of the train will have two wide doors for loading and unloading the containers.
Aiming to increase its share in freight transportation from the present 27 percent to 45 percent by 2030 the Indian Railways is looking to better infrastructure and business development plans, according to the National Rail Plan.
The Indian Railways has identified 74 new ‘Gati-Shakti Multi-Modal Cargo Terminal (GCT) locations across the country, with 20 of them in the South Indian states under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Gati-Shakti Multi Model Cargo Terminal’ policy.
To implement the same in a focused manner, the Railways has created a separate directorate at the Railway Board with its branches at Khurda, Bilaspur, Delhi, and Bengaluru divisions to expedite the ambitious scheme.
The policy was launched in 2021 to boost investment in the development of additional terminals for handling rail cargo.