Indian Railways, the world’s largest rail network is spread over 1,23,236 km, with 9,146 freight trains, plying 3 million tonnes (MT) of freight daily from 7,349 stations.
While the average speed of freight trains in India is around 24 km/hour. It has been observed that the railways in an attempt to turn the pandemic into an ocean of opportunity has increased the speed of the freight trains which is a deciding factor for increased freight loading. These improvements in freight movements come as passenger trains go off the Indian Railways network.
A recent tweet by DRM Bengaluru came as a proof for the increased speed of the freight train.
The tweet was captioned: ‘NO, THIS IS NOT AN EXPRESS TRAIN. It is a container freight train running at 100kmph between BSM-VRDP section in SBC Division, with a trailing load of 1800 tons hauled by WAG9/41055 of KJM Shed. From JTJ to WFD the 120 km distance was covered in two hrs’.
The particular container freight train was way above the average speed. It also broke the average speed of freight train recorded in July i.e. 46.16 kmph (double as compared to last year for the same date)
This particular train was hauled by the Indian locomotive class WAG-9 which is a class of 25 kV AC electric locomotives and was developed in 2017 by Alstom, for the Indian Railways.
Indian Railways are working towards more such container freight trains that can cover 100 kmph to run in the system which will significantly change the transport of goods in the country.
Earlier in October, The Railway Ministry and the Research Designs & Standards Organisation also gave the green light to French rolling-stock firm Alstom for operating High-speed freight trains capable of running at a maximum speed of 120 kmph.
Furthermore, the development of new dedicated freight corridors in northern and eastern India will allow the freight trains to run at a speed of 100 km/h with most advanced techniques and also with renewable energy. The DFC are expected to be completed by end of 2020.