With an aim of giving a boost to the transportation of cars, steel and consumer goods, railways have decided to run double-stack container trains between Gurgaon and Mundra Port in Gujarat.
The service will be made operational this month.
"All necessary preparations including approval from Research Designs and Standards Organisation and safety clearance to run the double-stack container train in this route are complete now," said a senior Railway Ministry official.
The 19 feet high double-stack train will ensure fast clearance of containers from the port thereby increasing the traffic handling capacity of the port.
"The double-stack container service will give a boost to the transportation of cars, steel, medicines and consumer goods for export and import in the 1198 km long Gurgaon-Mundra route," he said.
There has been a constant demand from the industry for such trains as it saves time in moving goods and reduces haulage charge for the operator.
The Gurgaon-Mundra section will be the second route to have double-stack container service in Indian Railways.
The first double-stack train became operational in March 2006 between the 950 km long Jaipur-Pipavav route by Western Railway.
The volume of traffic will be increased once the Gurgaon-Mundra route is operational, said the official.
Railways are expected to be carrying about 34 million tonnes of goods in double-stack trains in the current fiscal.
The ports of Mundra, Pipavav and Kandla in Gujarat are connected to the entire northern hinterland of Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Punjab and Himachal by non-electrified rail route.
"The double-stack container movement helps in reducing terminal congestion and congestion on road as the bulk of consumer goods will be carried in containers rather than lorries thereby saving fuel," the official said.
To ensure the double-stack train's operation, a footover bridge at Pataudi along the Gurgaon-Mundra route has been removed, the official said.
Railways also give a discount of 25% on haulage cost for the double-stack container movement. Though currently double-stack containers run only in non-electrified routes, the proposed dedicated freight corridor will have double-stack containers on the electrified route.
Since both Western and Eastern dedicated freight corridors are electrified, railways have to raise the overhead electric wire along the route to ensure the double-stack container operation.