Port Wings News Network:
Indian Railways achieved all- round progress during the year with firm focus on safety and passenger services by leveraging the latest in technology and marshalling the inherent strength of a highly dedicated workforce. Some of the significant achievements of the year in freight sector are highlighted below:
Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) along with diagonals carry approximately 58% of freight traffic and 52% of coaching traffic with a share of only 16% of the network (~10000km) taken up for initial emphasis. Major impediments to mobility have been identified viz. ~70% of the routes having sectional speed of less than 130kmph. 2736 level crossings, averaging one LC at every 3-4km. 730 locations speed restrictions (Average one SR at every ~15-20km). ~10% (~900) turnouts of speed of less than 30kmph. A road map has been developed to overcome the existing impediments in a systematic manner. All but 28 unmanned LCs removed on IR.A speed policy framework has been developed to address this issue of the mismatch between speed potential of rolling stock and fixed infrastructure. It has been decided to upgrade 10000km of Golden Quadrilaterals and diagonals for 160 kmph speed and remaining routes for 130 kmph speed.
Customer Focused Policies for Freight
To make the rail transportation attractive to its customers, various initiatives were taken in 2017-18 which includes tariff rationalisation, classification of new commodities, expansion of freight basket through containerisation, new delivery models like RORO services, Long Term Tariff Contract policy with key customer, Station to Station rate, Double Stack Dwarf Container (DSDC), Customer friendly rationalization of weighment Policy,Electronic Registration for Demand of Wagons (e-RD) etc. These policies launched in 2017-18 have been further extended upto March 2019.
The main initiatives undertaken during 2018-19 are:-
Electronic Transmission of Railway Receipts (eT-RR)
With introduction of E-RD (Electronic Registration for Demand of wagon), eT-RR has been implemented which use a user-friendly and paperless transaction system where Railway Receipt is generated and transmitted electronically to customer through FOIS and delivery of goods is given through e-surrender of eT-RR. That is, customer is saved the hassle of carrying physical Railway Receipt from originating to destination station. After success of pilot project at one terminal namely HPCL/Loni of Central Railway, it has been implemented over Northern Railway in second phase in March 2018. Proliferation on pan India basis is on anvil.
Customer friendly rationalization of weighment Policy
Zonal railways have been empowered to permit weightometer / pre-weighbin system of weighment in private siding on case- to- case basis w.e.f. 18.06.2018.
Dispensation from mandatory (100%) weighment in the case of container rake loaded with containers carrying standard bags of uniform size.
- Exemption from weighment has been granted in case of loading of standard Bags of uniform size in container. Low density commodities like Pet Coke, Met Coke, Chuni and De-oiled cake have been exempted from mandatory weighment.
Designed tare weight of new wagons namely BOXNS, BCFC, BRHNEHS, BOBRNHS, BOBRNEL, BOBYNHS, BFNSM 22.9 has been notified
Issue of multiple Railway Receipts (RRs) for container traffic
Indian Railways had extended facility of multiple RRs in favour of more than one Container Train Operator for a single container train (w.e.f.20.04.2017). The guidelines have been implemented recently in September 2018. This facility has come in on an opportune time as M/o Shipping has now relaxed ‘Cabotage’ law for foreign vessels on transportation of loaded for empty containers between Indian ports. With this relaxation, aggregation of containers at ports is likely to get a fillip. The facility of multiple RRs(Railway Receipts) for each operator shall further aid aggregation and promote economic growth. In addition, it is in sync with GST requirements and shall help each operator to avail Input Tax Credit(ITC) as per freight paid.
To promote containerisation, following measures have been taken: –
Introduction of new delivery model of Double Stack Dwarf Container to be charged by applying 17% concession on FAK rate has been extended upto 31.03.2019.
The methodology for levying Terminal Access Charge (TAC) for handling container train in railway terminal has been liberalised from 1.5 times to one time in case of double operation (i.e. unloading followed by loading), reduces non-freight cost to customer.
With effect from 11.07.2018, movement of CP Coke, a restricted commodity, has now been permitted in transportation in container at CCR (Container Class Rate) i.e. by applying 15% concession on Applicable class rate published in Goods tariff.
Decision has been taken to transport empty containers and empty flat wagon for private container rakes at a discount of 25%. The move is likely to give a thrust to movement of empty container by rail towards ports to return as loaded, thus profiting Indian Railway with higher container share.
Liberalised Automatic Freight Rebate Scheme in Empty flow Directions
This scheme has been issued w.e.f.01.01.2017. Under this scheme loaded traffic in empty flow direction is being charged at LR1 (with certain conditions), which amounts to average discount of 30 – 40%. In the revised policy, benefit has been extended to the traffic booked from originating Division to intermediate point on that O-D division. Further, rebate has also been extended to the traffic booked from originating division to all the other divisions (not listed in the empty flow direction) of the destination zone. This will help to decrease empty flow movement of rakes. This scheme has further reviewed and revised guidelines have been issued w.e.f. 01.10.2018. This will help to decrease empty flow movement of rakes.
Freight Heavy Haul Initiatives:
Prototype of the 25T axle load BOXNS wagons was made in Oct’15. The wagon will run at 100 kmph in loaded and empty condition with pay load to tare ratio of 4.1 as compared to conventional BOXNHL wagons, which have payload to tare ratio of about 3.6. These wagons will achieve increased throughput per rake by 14.8%. 25t wagons are required for operation on DFC, which were tried upto 110/100 kmph on SER successfully. Induction of these wagons has already started, till Nov. 2018, 2600 wagons are in operation and another 2400 are in the pipe line.
For increasing throughput of finished goods and other containable goods, a dwarf container has been designed which can be moved in double stack loading even under electrified sections of IR. This enables increase in throughput of containable commodity even on electrified lines. This service has been opened on Jamnagar-Ludhiana route and efforts are on to proliferate on other routes also.
In the area of multimodal transport, the concept of Road-Railers which was under trial for past few year has been finalized in 2016-17. The commercial operation of the train has started in August, 2018. This allows for specially designed road trailers to bring container load form the customer premises to Railway sidings where it gets converted to train and goes to the destination. This initiative brings door to door delivery for container traffic without need for any container handling at railway premises.
In the area of transportation of finished steel namely hot rolled and cold rolled steel coils, new wagon BFNSM has been designed which is specifically designed for increasing the throughput of steel coil by more than 35% per rake compared to other similar wagons. Safety approvals for this have been obtained and induction of these wagons has started in 2018 already.