The premier production unit of the Indian Railways, the Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala, is all set to roll out its most-ambitious cargo liner concept, a double-decker coach, by next month. This double decker coach will accommodate both passengers and cargo, the upper deck will have seating for passengers and the lower deck will be used for transporting goods.
This new service will give impetus to the time-bound cargo movement, which is one of the major source of revenue for the Railways.
“Most probably, we will roll out the first cargo liner concept by next month. This will be the first-of-its-kind double-decker coach in India where there will be space for seating passengers on the upper deck while the lower deck will be utilised for cargo movement. Once completed, it will be put on a trial run by the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), a research and development organisation under the Ministry of Railways,”Ashesh Agrawal, General Manager, Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala.
Agarwal says, after the trial run is successful, the RCF will manufacture more coaches and roll them out on the concept of cargo liners, a regular scheduled service on a fixed route.
The cargo liners will help the Railways capture the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) and miscellaneous goods market.
Experts have observed a change in freight traffic from bulk to small. They believe there is an increased demand for movement of small quantity white goods, especially from the FMCG sector.
Indian Railways in the past couple of years has been giving a major push to its freight movement. This is evident from the fact that during the financial year 2022-23, freight revenue leapfrogged to Rs 1.62 lakh crore, a growth of nearly 15 per cent over the previous year.
He said the RCF would manufacture 16 coaches of the Vande Bharat train in the current fiscal.