India’s first semi-high-speed freight train is likely to hit the tracks in December, officials said Friday. By copying the concept of Vande Bharat train, the 16-speed ‘Gati Shakti’ train can run 160 km / h and will be manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai.
To implement the PM Gati Shakti initiative in a focused way, the railways have set up a separate directorate at the railway board with its divisions in Khurda, Bilaspur, Delhi and Bengaluru divisions to speed up the ambitious scheme. “The design work for these trains has already started. We have also given the order for material … By December this year, we will be able to manufacture two of these trains, “said ICF Director General AK Agarwal, adding that an overall target of 25 such trains has been set.
The final number of trains will depend on how the first trains are received by the market, he added. The railways plan to target e-commerce and the courier package segment through these trains, officials said. Each train will also have refrigerated carts at the rear end and front to transport perishable goods such as dairy products, fish, fruits and vegetables.
Electrical connection to these carriages will be provided from the bus. The rest of the buses will have rollers to move the container. Each bus will have two wide doors for loading and unloading the containers. According to the Indian Brand Equity Foundation, India with a turnover of $ 50 billion by 2020 has become the eighth largest market for e-commerce.
“India’s e-commerce market is expected to reach $ 111 billion in 2024 and $ 200 billion in 2026 and is expected to reach $ 350 billion by 2030,” the official said, adding that Indian Railways plans to capture the small parcel shipments by run dedicated high-speed freight trains.
The Indian Railways aims to increase its share of freight transport from the current 27 percent to 45 percent by 2030 through better infrastructure and business development plans, according to the National Rail Plan.
The Indian Railways have identified 74 new ‘Gati-Shakti Multi-Modal Cargo Terminal (GCT) locations across the country, 20 of which are in the South Indian states under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious’ Gati-Shakti Multi Model Cargo Terminal’ policy.
The policy was launched in 2021 to increase investment in the development of additional terminals for handling rail freight.