In a historic feat for the South Western Railways, a train of 1.25 km length, pulled by four engines, was run between Hosapate in Ballari district and Tinaighat of Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka.
The Railways said the operation within the Hubbali Division of SWR was the first long haul train in the entire zone.
â€śComposition of more than one standard goods train formation consists of 59 wagons. Any composition of train more than this is defined as Long Haul train. The constituent trains may be empty or loaded. The running of long haul trains will help in reducing the congestion in busy sections thereby increasing the throughput,â€ť E Vijaya, Deputy General Manager, South Western Railways said in a press statement.
1.25 km is the standard length of two goods trains.
The statement added, â€śOn July 19, Hubballi division of SWR ran a long haul train equivalent to 2 goods trains with total 117 wagons, 2 brakevans train with four locomotive engines (2 leading and 2 in the middle) between Hosapete and Tinaighat. The long haul train left Hosapete at 2:35 pm and reached Tinaighat at 7:25 pm. The long haul train covered a distance of about 250 kms in 4.5 hours at an average speed of 56 kmph.â€ť
Officials said the success of this exercise means that SWR can cope with line congestion on rail routes and the ever-increasing demand of wagons at loading points. It has an added advantage of increasing the speed of rolling stock as a result of a reduction in the number of trains. This will save a path on this busy section.
Chitresh Srivastava, a railway policy columnist, said with the current availability of high power locomotive engines these trains will make Railways a viable competition for road and air cargo ways till dedicated freight corridors (DFCs) are made ready.
â€śFrom the economic point of view, this is a positive step as freight is more profitable than passengers. Overall this would make the best use of capacity and improve punctuality within sections. And tomorrow as the government may be willing for private players to come, congested lines may prove to be a non-starter for them to run trains. So till the DFC is ready, this will act as an ad hoc measure to improve operations overall,â€ť he told TNM.