Southern Railway's Chennai Division has introduced a new stream of traffic, “Time-tabled container train services” to capture the loading and unloading of goods from industries and firms to destinations across the country.
Apart from coal and coke, other major commodities such as fertilisers, gypsum and limestone have been loaded in recent times.
The time-tabled container services were introduced in the division for the first time on August 20, and have been running daily between Chennai Harbour and Whitefield (near Bengaluru). Each way trip fetches a revenue of Rs 4.3 lakh for the Railways, according to a Southern Railways press release.
The Chennai Division loaded its first rake with Muriate of Potash (MOP) of Indian Potash Limited to Gudivada in Andhra Pradesh. The rake left Chennai Harbour on September 7 with 1,338 tonnes of MOP generating revenue of Rs 9.57 lakh for Railways. Till date, a total of 2,667 tonnes of the consignment has been loaded, earning a revenue of Rs 20 lakh.
Loading from Kamarajar port (Chennai) to South Central Railway has picked up as customers availed the benefit of the automatic freight rebate scheme which provides incentives to carry load in the traditional empty flow direction. Chettinad International Bulk Private Limited has loaded 10 rakes of gypsum to Vijayawada and Renigunta divisions of South Central Railway during the past three months and promised more rakes in the future benefitting from the scheme. This has increased the Chennai division’s loading by around 40,000 tonnes and this has earned additional revenue of around Rs 4.12 crore.
Another major commodity in which there was an upswing in loading is Limestone. During FY20, some 55 rakes with 220,061 tonnes were loaded and earned Rs 19 crore revenue till August 2019. In the current financial year, 128 rakes with 497,876 tonnes have been loaded, earning Rs 38 crore till August 25. This is a 126 per cent rise in tonnage over the same period last year and also surpasses all of FY20's earnings of Rs 31 crore from loading of limestone.