Railways looks to expedite coal transport amid shortage
New Delhi: The Indian Railways is taking measures to ease transport of coal across the country in the face of shortages being reported from across the country, officials familiar with the plan have told HT.
These measures include giving preference to goods coal carrying rakes over passenger trains along any route and extending the time period prescribed for checking the mechanical condition of these rakes, said a senior official, asking not to be named.
“We are giving priority to coal carrying rakes. Hence, these rakes will be given priority over all the passenger/ mail/express trains,” the official said.
The national transporter also increased the operating duration of rakes by 2,500km. “We have increased the break power certificates (BPC) of our rakes. This implies that our carrying capacity (CC) rakes that were sent to the garage after completion of every 7,500 km, will now be sent to the garage only after running 10,000 km. This will automatically lead to an increase in loading and carrying coal,” the official said.
Senior officials said that Railways has also extended the BPC from 30 to 35 days.
The BPC for a goods train is issued after examination in goods checking yards by the junior engineer/ supervisor or by the mechanical engineering department – Carriage & Wagon.
“The coal rakes will operate five days extra. This implies that availability of wagons will increase, leading to more coal loading facilities,” said a second official.
Indian Railways has so far cancelled at least 42 trains for ferrying coal rakes in the wake of a power crisis in various parts of the country.
Data shared by the national transporter revealed that following the cancellations, the Railways has raised the average daily loading of coal rakes to over 400 per day, which is the highest in the past five years.
“Since passenger trains are being delayed and cancelled, we are running long haul trains (multiple rakes) so that more coal is loaded at a time. In order to facilitate such movements, Railways has deputed train examiners (TXRs) in each section where such long-haul rakes are being made,” said the official.
Railways also conducted a study to check the maximum amount of coal that can be loaded at a time. “According to our analysis, 80% of the rakes were being pushed back due to overloading. Around three hours of time was being consumed due to this issue. We, therefore, increased the tolerance power of rakes by one ton,” the official added.
“We have also asked workshops to give priority to BOXN (bogie open high sided with air brakes) coaches over other coaches so that no delay is ensured in carrying coal,” the official said.