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Old 11th January 2021, 11:49   #16
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Default Re: India's longest 2-tier freight train - 1.5 km long with 180 containers!

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
The USA and Australia, for some reason, refuse to pick up electric traction for freight or commercial operations.
Add Canada to the list.

From what I've read, it is due to capitalism in North America. Most railroads are privately owned and they'd need a lot of manpower to install electric wires. Also, more manpower will be required to maintain electric wires & distribution systems, especially in regions with frequent bad weather.

All railroad employees in North America are unionized, so their salaries are pretty high. Hiring additional workers means greater costs for the companies. Might just be easier to lobby the government for lax pollution regulations. Their case is further strengthened as railroads causes very little pollution compared to trucks & cars in the US.
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Old 11th January 2021, 13:24   #17
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Default Re: India's longest 2-tier freight train - 1.5 km long with 180 containers!

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Any idea why Rewari - Madar was chosen for this ? What is the kind of freight traffic on this section ?
It is a major section on the Delhi-Kandla Port railway line. Earlier the trains would switch from diesel to electric at Rewari for their onward journey towards Delhi and beyond.

This section will run through the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor that is being developed. Also, Rewari has 6 converging railway lines, second only to Mathura which could result is better and efficient management of freight for further movement towards their destination. This route runs along one of the busiest highways in the subcontinent, NH48 connecting Delhi to Mumbai. Add to that the excellent road network for further transport via road and the presence of important industrial areas surrounding NCR.

Trivia for us enthusiasts, there are 2 Maruti Suzuki, 3 Hero MotoCorp, 1 HCIL (Honda), 2 HMSI (Honda), 1 SMI (Suzuki), 1 Harley Davidson (now defunct?) factories and various automotive ancilliary industries within 50 kms of Rewari.
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Old 11th January 2021, 18:47   #18
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Default Re: India's longest 2-tier freight train - 1.5 km long with 180 containers!

The first two trains mentioned ran in 2001 and 1967. Must have been a great engineering achievement in those days. What is not known how long their commercial run continued.

What I can dare to say that our train in question maybe the longest train currently in operation and will continue its run as a regular train service.

Rather than do nitpicking like a coffee table critique, I congratulate them on laying the WDFC and making this train run in a record period.

Whether its the longest or among the 10 longest, I am proud of this superb achievement of our engineers and wish them all the best for more such achievements for betterment of country. Request all members to also join me in congratulating each and every member of our railway team who got these two things completed
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Old 11th January 2021, 22:07   #19
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Default Re: India's longest 2-tier freight train - 1.5 km long with 180 containers!

The sections opened up on both EDFC and WDFC intersect somewhere up north. One of the reasons we see a loco in the middle is that the long freight train can be split up anywhere and run as two separate good trains without the need to do re-shunting etc.

A little off-topic, but Indian Railways has upped their game in the last 1 year. There have been many firsts in their history and a renewed focus on improving passenger/freight services and experience. The lull has helped to improve infrastructure which has made such long freight trains possible even on non DFC tracks.
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Old 12th January 2021, 16:35   #20
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Default Re: India's longest 2-tier freight train - 1.5 km long with 180 containers!

Great to see BHPians appreciating the developments and improvements in the freight sector.

My family runs India's largest Private Container Train Operator (Gateway Rail Freight Limited) and I hope to shed some light on the DFC project. The headlines have been misleading and hyperbolic and while an achievement the "python" train is the world's longest double-stack train to be run with electric locomotives.

The current Indian Railway network cannot handle a train longer than 700 meters due to infrastructural constraints carried over from the Raj. This is acceptable for passenger services but greatly reduces operational efficiency for freight trains.

The Dedicated Freight Corridor Project has been ongoing for the past 14 years (due to let's just call it "Indian delays") and the section which was flagged off a few days ago is the only fully completed section of the Western DFC which once fully operational, will run the length of North-Western India (From Rewari near Delhi to JNPT in Mumbai). This area sees the most amount of EXIM traffic and thus was the first to be constructed. There will be an Eastern DFC in the coming years and eventually the aim is to create a quadrilateral (with diagonals) across India.

The two trains which were part of the flagging off ceremony were trains of the two market leaders, GatewayRail (yours truly) and CONCOR. The DFC can handle trains which are 1.5 KM long unlike the rest of IR network and two trains of either one CTO or two different operators are combined for operational efficiency. The efficiency comes from a single crew and from an increased speed (since only freight trains can ply on this corridor) and increased weight capacity. These 1.5 km trains can carry a total of 360 containers (two double stack trains of 180 containers combined).

Once fully operational the DFC will reduce turnaround time of the trains and help increase reliability and frequency of service and increase the capacity of rail freight in India and shift the cargo from trucks onto trains.

Please feel free to shoot any questions my way if you're curious about the DFC and rail freight in India.

Last edited by AamodB : 12th January 2021 at 16:38.
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Old 12th January 2021, 17:14   #21
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Default Re: India's longest 2-tier freight train - 1.5 km long with 180 containers!

Dear Aamod B

When the Western DFC is fully operational, what would be the turnaround time of a double stacked 360 container train which reaches JNPT, i.e. get all the containers unloaded and a fresh load of 360 containers loaded? Will the process be more efficient than 2 separate 180 container single stack trains?

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Old 12th January 2021, 20:36   #22
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Default Re: India's longest 2-tier freight train - 1.5 km long with 180 containers!

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Please feel free to shoot any questions my way if you're curious about the DFC and rail freight in India.
First and the basic question. What is the role of a Private Container Train operator?
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Old 12th January 2021, 23:29   #23
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First and the basic question. What is the role of a Private Container Train operator?
Short Answer: No different than CONCOR which is a PSU container train operator and operating in the same scope of business i.e. transportation of Export/Import or domestic containerised cargo via trains from the maritime ports to the hinterland areas such as NCR, Ludhiana, UP etc.


Long Answer: Before 2006 containerised cargo and therefore container trains could only be operated by CONCOR (Container Corporation of India) which was established in 1988.

In 2006 the government sold licences for INR 50 crores (with very specific pre-requisites such as development of private land for handling and storage of containers and a detailed business plan) to private companies to allow them to purchase rakes (flat bed trains) and operate them across the country along with operating Inland Container Depots (ICD) which are hubs for customs clearance similar to the setup at Airports across India.

The private CTOs however can only own and operate the ICDs and the rake. The locomotives are provided by the Indian Railways. The Indian Railways also charges a haulage fee for operating on their network which is roughly 55-60% of total revenue from rail operations. The revenue from handling and storage at the ICDs is independent.

15 privately owned companies were given the licenses of which GatewayRail Freight Limited founded by my father was the first, and continues to be the largest private operator with ~14% pan India market share. CONCOR is still the national behemoth with ~70% market share and the other operators occupy the remaining 16%.

Hope this helps!

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Originally Posted by benu9714 View Post
Dear Aamod B

When the Western DFC is fully operational, what would be the turnaround time of a double stacked 360 container train which reaches JNPT, i.e. get all the containers unloaded and a fresh load of 360 containers loaded? Will the process be more efficient than 2 separate 180 container single stack trains?

Thanks
Great question! So this is a bit tricky to answer since the Dedicated Freight Corridor only reduces the transit time between the Inland Container Depots and the maritime Ports but the time spent at the two end points remains the same. Further the two trains more often than not will be of different operators and will operate only one way and then split, so it can't be a factor in calculating total turnaround time. Due to infrastructure constraints and lack of volumes to North India, container trains can only carry a single stack (90 containers) to JNPT. A majority of JNPT cargo is destined for the southern half of India.

The split for a round trip to JNPT without the DFC is roughly 60% transit time which ranges from 48-55 hours one way with an average speed of 35-40kph (due to priority to other types of trains). The time spent at the end points is roughly 20% each which ranges from 12-16 hours for the train to be unloaded and loaded at each end.

The DFC is predicted to halve the transit time from 48 hours to 24 hours and thus bring down the overall time for a round trip from a total of 72-80 hours to 48-50 hours. It currently takes roughly 3 days for a single stack container load to accumulate at JNPT. So you can realistically run only one train per container train operator every week.

Sustainable operational efficiency for double stack trains (180 containers) will only set in if North India volumes at JNPT increase by 70-100%.

On a more positive note, the DFC will improve service speed and reliability to the Mundra and Pipavav Ports in Gujarat since these two attract the majority of volumes destined for North India and can handle increased operations.

Hope this helps and wasn't too long a read!

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 13th January 2021 at 13:26. Reason: Back to back posts merged.
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Old 13th January 2021, 09:13   #24
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Default Re: India's longest 2-tier freight train - 1.5 km long with 180 containers!

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Due to infrastructure constraints and lack of volumes to North India, container trains can only carry a single stack (90 containers) to JNPT.
From what I've been reading on DFCCIL, the current western corridor is from Rewari to Madar (I can't figure out where Madar is). Are double stack container loads shifted onto to empty container wagons (at Madar) for the journey towards JNPT? Assume re-arranging this load will take some time.

Last edited by sandeepmohan : 13th January 2021 at 09:15.
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Old 13th January 2021, 13:18   #25
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Default Re: India's longest 2-tier freight train - 1.5 km long with 180 containers!

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
From what I've been reading on DFCCIL, the current western corridor is from Rewari to Madar (I can't figure out where Madar is). Are double stack container loads shifted onto to empty container wagons (at Madar) for the journey towards JNPT? Assume re-arranging this load will take some time.
Madar is a junction station right outside Ajmer, Rajasthan.


To preface it your other question, only 3 private container train operators in the Gurgaon-Manesar region of NCR (GatewayRail, CONCOR and Adani Logistics) can operate double-stack trains since the others operators have ICDs in areas with low over-head electric cables or bridges etc. and can't keep containers above the main stack.

Further, as of now, no operator will or can run a double stack train (due to low volumes towards JNPT). The double stack trains can only be run to Mundra or Pipavav Ports. It is only when the full DFC is operational AND the volumes nearly double that people can think of running double stack to JNPT.

However, if hypothetically we were to run a double stack train to JNPT tomorrow, only GatewayRail (yours truly) would be able to pull this of because we have an ICD hub at Viramgam in Gujarat where we can unload the second stack and send two individual trains forward. Other CTOs will be forced to operate single stack trains from the origin.
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Old 14th January 2021, 01:46   #26
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Default Re: India's longest 2-tier freight train - 1.5 km long with 180 containers!

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Further, as of now, no operator will or can run a double stack train
Thanks. All noted.

There is a lot of YouTube footage, even before the recent inaugural run, of freight with double stack consists. Where are these rakes going, or, are they likely all headed to some of the IDC's you mentioned? (Mundra, Pipavav).

How is loading and unloading of containers handled in electrified sections? Are yard lines without overhead traction wires?
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Old 14th January 2021, 11:24   #27
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Default Re: India's longest 2-tier freight train - 1.5 km long with 180 containers!

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
Thanks. All noted.

There is a lot of YouTube footage, even before the recent inaugural run, of freight with double stack consists. Where are these rakes going, or, are they likely all headed to some of the IDC's you mentioned? (Mundra, Pipavav).

How is loading and unloading of containers handled in electrified sections? Are yard lines without overhead traction wires?
You're correct. All of the double stack trains currently running in India carry containers to and fro from the two ports, Mundra and Pipavav and are operated by the three operators I mentioned in a previous post.

Since it is only the locomotive which needs electric traction, the container or rail yard does not have any overhead cabling on the rest of the train so it's no different from un/loading a diesel powered train. The OHE (Over Head Equipment) is constructed only as far as the locomotive comes into the yards.
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Old 15th January 2021, 10:09   #28
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Default Re: India's longest 2-tier freight train - 1.5 km long with 180 containers!

In some cases, the shunting loco might not be electric. IIRC, IR on a trial basis have produced a battery/electric loco as well. Not sure what the range would be - but definitely a first.

Another unique aspect of the DFC are long welded rails, high-speed turnouts and absence of level crossings. This will ensure that speed remains within a very narrow band closer to the higher speeds.

I follow a couple of railfans and youtube channels focused on DFC and their updates are quite informative.
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Old 15th January 2021, 10:44   #29
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Default Re: India's longest 2-tier freight train - 1.5 km long with 180 containers!

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You're correct. All of the double stack trains currently running in India carry containers to and fro from the two ports,

The OHE (Over Head Equipment) is constructed only as far as the locomotive comes into the yards.
Fascinating, AamodB thank you.

A tangential question. Are there heightened chances of pantograph failure with the high rise OHE setup? Just asking out of curiosity
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Old 15th January 2021, 11:09   #30
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Default Re: India's longest 2-tier freight train - 1.5 km long with 180 containers!

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All of the double stack trains currently running in India carry containers to and fro from the two ports, Mundra and Pipavav
Dear AamodB, thank your for your patience in answering our questions.

DFC is now up to Madar. What happens from here? To go to Mundra, does the freight train takes the regular IR tracks? Are these non-electrified or electrified tracks having height increased OHE, to take in double stacked containers?
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