‘Maruti’ would soon be running on railway tracks. No not Hanuman, but a 120-wagon goods train that the Central Railway (CR) is planning to introduce soon.
These trains would operate beyond Mumbai (in Bhusawal section) but are being run to ensure smooth operations of ‘summer special’ trains.
Many of these summer special trains start from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Kurla-Lokmanya Tilak Terminus.
When two trains are clubbed, the total number of wagons becomes 115-120 that are towed. These long serpentine goods train would take around a minute or so to pass an average 700-odd metre long platforms, if it is running at its average speed.
These newly proposed trains, however, have issues such as communication between driver-guard, while applying brakes to the train maneuvering curves, gradients and track crossings.
These trains can carry a load of around 10,000 tonnes and are inter-connected by four engines. In January and February, for example, CR ran 67 and 75 of the trains (or services), respectively.
The CR is currently running around 1,516 special trains, including Nagpur-Hatia, Sainagar, Shirdi, Bhubaneshwar-Hazrat Nizamuddin.
These summer specials run from March to June. But these trains get stuck not only due to the regular outstation trains starting from the CST and Kurla LTT, but also from the long slow-moving goods trains.
“Beyond Mumbai, the goods trains don’t move beyond a speed of 50kmph while a regular freight train runs at around 75 kmph. So we have decided to club two goods trains with engines in order to save time and provide pathway for long-distance trains,” said V Malegaonkar, chief PRO of Central Railway.
Officials said that this method would also ensure availability of drivers for running long-distance trains. Generally, they face problem of drivers for running these long-distance trains, especially with more number of trains added to their schedule. Everyday more than 100 long-distance trains arrive and depart at CST and Kurla LTT stations.