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Chennai: Road Railer project to be reality soon

Chennai: One and a half years after the Indian Railways approved India’s maiden Road Railer multi-modal project that connects Chennai and Delhi, it still awaits approval from the Ministry of Road Transport. The project connects the roadways and the Railways seamlessly using trailers that can run on the road as well on railway tracks, thus called road railers, and Kirloskar Pneumatic Company Ltd has rolled these out from their Nasik facility. According to officials, the road railer units and bogies have been manufactured, and are available at Arakkonam.

One road railer rake consists of 50 road railer units and each would be capable of carrying a weight of 20 tonnes. Individual trailer units can be loaded with consignment and attached to a lorry at the consignor’s end. “The attaching of road railer units with bogies and the subsequent transport of the same would happen from the Melpakkam railway yard,” an official said. “At the time of unloading, the road railer is detached, attached to the lorry mover and is sent to the customer,” the official added. Railway sources say that all other approvals are in place, the wagons and bogies are ready, and that they hope to see the approval soon. “The concept has been in use in USA and European countries.

It reduces the time taken for delivery of consignment and, thus, the cost. There is no loading or unloading of goods needed as the road railer unit containing goods is directly attached to road railer bogie,” said the official. While the responsibility of Railways would be to ensure smooth run and delivery of the consignments, the maintenance of rakes and the loading -unloading would be on Kirloskar.

As there is no loading and unloading of goods involved, costs and damaged involved is minimised. “The goods can include perishable goods as there would be a cut in the time required to transport goods by a large margin. After Chennai – Delhi is successful, plans are on to introduce the services on Chennai – Mumbai route,” the official said.

One more benefit would be consignments from multiple consignors can be carried together and all consignments would arrive at the same time, an assurance that trucks are not able to provide.

“As this involves approvals from both Railways and Road Transport Ministry, the latter’s approval has been pending for the last one and a half years,” the official said.

The road railer project is expected to give a boost to the freight earnings of the Railways.

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