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Old 6th March 2014, 14:52   #1
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Default India’s 1st Flexi-Deck Train: By Maruti & Indian Railways

The Indian Railways & Maruti Suzuki have flagged off new high-capacity railway wagons (technically called BCACBM) from Gurgaon railway station.

Named ‘Flexi deck auto-wagon rake’, it brings the advantages of higher capacity, flexibility & faster speed to the rail transportation of cars.

The ‘Flexi deck' rake has 20% additional capacity (318 cars) as compared to the current twin-decker coaches (265 cars). The new rake, with its height adjustable middle-deck, is highly flexible and can transport vehicles of multiple dimensions. From concept to reality, the project took 36 months.

The new rake can move at speed of upto 95 kph as compared to 65 kph of the existing rakes. To put things in perspective, the train can now travel between Gurgaon and Bangalore in around 5 days, as compared to 7 days by road transportation.

The 1st Flexi deck consisting of 27 wagons chugged off to Nidavanda, Bangalore from Gurgaon carrying a mixed load of Maruti cars including Swift, Dzire, Alto, Wagon R and Omni.

Maruti Suzuki has initially procured three such rakes of 27 wagons each. These rakes will be primarily deployed in the high-volume West and South India destinations. In the long term, the company will dispatch cars through railways to several destinations like Nagpur, Siliguri, Mumbai, Pune, Mundra, Kolkata etc.

To streamline operations, Maruti will develop infrastructure at the off-loading destinations. The company has developed a railway station at Nidavanda, near Bangalore. The Nidavanda station has a capacity to handle nearly 300 vehicles presently. As Maruti has big volumes for South India destinations, Bangalore will be used as a feeder point for the dealer network.

Maruti has been using rail transportation for over two decades. In 2008, the company joined hands with Indian railways and developed double-deck container trains to enhance load carrying capacity. These continue to be used by Maruti mainly for export vehicles from its manufacturing plants in Haryana to the Mundra port. Dispatch through railways increased from 2% in 2007-08 to over 5% in 2012-13. With the commissioning of the Flexi Deck rakes, rail transportation would substantially increase in the future.

India’s 1st Flexi-Deck Train: By Maruti & Indian Railways-flexi-deck.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 6th March 2014 at 17:28.
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Old 7th March 2014, 09:23   #2
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Default Re: India’s 1st Flexi-Deck Train: By Maruti & Indian Railways

Wow this is interesting.

I am sure other companies’ at-least the top 5 automobile players and top 3 two-wheeler players should look at such arrangements. Though two-wheeler producers don’t require flexi-rake, yet moving from roads to railways reduces transit cost by a greater margin, also it’s a better and safer way to transfer, the companies can negotiate with insurance partners on revised transit insurance.

Looks to be promising and with development of new railway corridors, one can expect a larger chunk of produce being moved to railways. We have one of the world’s largest railway networks and the cost effective way through which MSIL has been able move about 100,000 cars in a year can be doubled in no time.

Last, this being more effective and efficient, should have a positive impact on the global emissions of GHG.

Well done Maruti.
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Old 8th March 2014, 09:28   #3
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Default Re: India’s 1st Flexi-Deck Train: By Maruti & Indian Railways

This kind of set up is the need of the hour. It will not only prove to be cost effective for companies but can also reduce the shortage of vehicles in certain areas.

I think Railways should think and innovate to bring more and more manufacturers into its fold.

Encouraging this kind of transport set up coupled with certain subsidiaries by the government will result in a major breather to the overcrowded highways.
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Old 8th March 2014, 10:33   #4
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Default Re: India’s 1st Flexi-Deck Train: By Maruti & Indian Railways

Very nice! It is high time those really long tractor trailers ferrying brand new cars are removed from our congested roads.

Very curious to see how the cars are stacked inside those wagons.
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Old 8th March 2014, 15:13   #5
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Default Re: India’s 1st Flexi-Deck Train: By Maruti & Indian Railways

Wow, Maruti looks like being on a innovative roll!

With such logistical solution, it clearly signifies that the manufacturer will have the ability to ramp up the production without increasing the stock in its own backyard. Also, this significantly takes off the load from the road network.

On the other hand, this probably robs away the only chance most Maruti vehicles will have to be on a truck/ flatbed in their lifetime. (most are towed rather than being commuted on a flatbed/ truck in case they breakdown)

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Saket
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Old 8th March 2014, 16:00   #6
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Default Re: India’s 1st Flexi-Deck Train: By Maruti & Indian Railways

Quoting the RDSO document on the BCACBM wagon:

Quote:
A new design of Bi-level Auto Car wagon type ‘BCACBM’ has been developed by RDSO.
The wagon has following Salient features;
1. Movable Middle Deck permitting freedom to load all types of cars.
2. Lower floor height of 938 mm with existing LCCF bogie (840mm dia wheel).
3. Use of standard hot rolled section and M.S. (IS: 2062) to minimize cost.
4. Optimized for all type of Car Transportation needs on Rail, 318Cars per rake.
a. Optimized for Alto/ AStar in Upper Deck with Omni, Wagon R, Santro, I-10 & Nano
in Lower Deck (318)
b. Also optimized for Same Car combinations : 318 Cars per rake:
i. Alto, Astar, Santro, I-10
ii. Other cars in various Combinations with Alto/ Astar in Upper Deck: 264 to
291 Cars
c. All Cars on Indian Roads, including SUVs, can be accommodated in the Wagon :
Minimum of 162 Cars in Lower Deck
Also attaching further info about pricing etc for the curious minds

Freight_BCACBM.pdf

Source: rdso.gov.in
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Old 8th March 2014, 16:52   #7
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Default Re: India’s 1st Flexi-Deck Train: By Maruti & Indian Railways

The biggest advantage of making this way of transport mainline is costs come down drastically compared to road. Besides there is also an added advantage of less accident/transit damage and the reduction of time since there is no road blocks such as trucks being held up at borders for clearance etc etc
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Old 8th March 2014, 20:11   #8
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Default Re: India’s 1st Flexi-Deck Train: By Maruti & Indian Railways

Any internal pictures?

How do the cars roll on/ roll off.

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Sutripta
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Old 8th March 2014, 21:10   #9
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Default Re: India’s 1st Flexi-Deck Train: By Maruti & Indian Railways

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Any internal pictures?

How do the cars roll on/ roll off.
The Wagons are interconnected and the end of the train is reversed into a siding which has a ramp in the end. The cars are just driven off the wagons in a line. Some also have an inbuilt ramp.

The images of the BCACM wagon are available in the IRFCA gallery and if both this site and IRFCA permit, I am posting the links to these images:

The single tier wagon which is a conventionally designed coach: http://www.irfca.org/gallery/Wagons/DSCN2781.JPG.html

The BCACM-A wagon which can accomodate two tiers of cars with an inbuilt ramp
http://www.irfca.org/gallery/Wagons/IMG_0157a.jpg.html

The Wagons without ramp:
http://www.irfca.org/gallery/Wagons/IMG_0161a.jpg.html
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Old 9th March 2014, 20:04   #10
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Default Re: India’s 1st Flexi-Deck Train: By Maruti & Indian Railways

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Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
The Wagons are interconnected and the end of the train is reversed into a siding which has a ramp in the end. The cars are just driven off the wagons in a line.
In the new ones, the deck height is adjustable. That means it must be adjusted to the same height for the whole rake?

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Old 9th March 2014, 20:40   #11
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Default Re: India’s 1st Flexi-Deck Train: By Maruti & Indian Railways

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
In the new ones, the deck height is adjustable. That means it must be adjusted to the same height for the whole rake?

Regards
Sutripta
Since I havent seen the BCACBM coaches, I am not aware of its operations. But the middle deck can be adjusted independently in each wagon. I think thats where the flexible term comes from. Depending upon which car needs to be transported, the height of each level can be altered. However, for loading and unloading, it will require the decks to be leveled in order to provide a continuity between wagons. Guess the bottom deck will be emptied first, and then the middle deck will be brought to a uniform level before the cars can be removed.

The moving middle deck is a real advantage. Suppose wagons with different deck heights were used to transport different cars, without being able to alter the deck height, it would mean each coach had to be independently unloaded. Splitting a train rake is a very tedious affair, and trying to move cars through wagons will be difficult since dimensions wont accomodate.

Given that the train has left to Bangalore, I guess me or some other railfans will be able to do an inspection and those bazooka fans will be waiting to capture anything new
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Old 9th March 2014, 20:48   #12
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Default Re: India’s 1st Flexi-Deck Train: By Maruti & Indian Railways

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Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
and then the middle deck will be brought to a uniform level before the cars can be removed.
Moving a loaded deck as an operational requirement?

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Old 9th March 2014, 21:09   #13
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Default Re: India’s 1st Flexi-Deck Train: By Maruti & Indian Railways

Wonder how these will be transported to the dealer's stock yards?
Hope they don't drive them down from the railway yard!!
Just imagine a bunch of dealer drivers doing multiple trips in city traffic
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Old 9th March 2014, 21:23   #14
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Default Re: India’s 1st Flexi-Deck Train: By Maruti & Indian Railways

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Moving a loaded deck as an operational requirement?

Regards
Sutripta
Mostly yes. At least how I imagine they are going to work. Cant think of another way. Suppose ertigas are loaded in the bottom and altos in the top, the decks have to be raised up as far as possible. Suppose in the next coach we have both decks with WagonR or other equally tall cars, they have to be adjusted. If all the decks are set to a single height, then it will restrict the height of cars that can be transported or rather the same combination of cars must be transported. If it is indeed this way, then the decks need to be moved only before loading, depending the lot of cars being sent in the rake.

I believe that even in trucks, the middle deck is slanted during loading and unloading to create a ramp with the deck itself?


Quote:
Originally Posted by whitewing View Post
Wonder how these will be transported to the dealer's stock yards?
Hope they don't drive them down from the railway yard!!
Just imagine a bunch of dealer drivers doing multiple trips in city traffic
I think from the bangalore yard to dealers it will be driven itself. Even now the trucks are unloaded in the dealer yards which are in the city outskirts. They are then brought into the dealers premises when required.

On a sidenote, here is a picture from FB showing a rake of Tata Nanos again near Bangalore. Beautiful sight I must say: Image source: https://m.facebook.com/bangalorememe...ef=stream&_rdr
Attached Images
 
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Old 9th March 2014, 21:34   #15
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Default Re: India’s 1st Flexi-Deck Train: By Maruti & Indian Railways

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioholic View Post

I think from the bangalore yard to dealers it will be driven itself. Even now the trucks are unloaded in the dealer yards which are in the city outskirts. They are then brought into the dealers premises when required.
Yes, true. But earlier the vehicle would be assaulted once prior to delivery (trip down from the stockyard to the dealer). But now it will have to endure one more trip from the railway yard to the Dealer's stock yard.
And I assumed that the unloading would happen in the railway yard in Majestic.
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