Dedicated Freight Corridor looks to ramp up Truck-on-Train Services

The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL), operating under the Indian Railways, is seeking to scale up its truck-on-train services following the positive outcomes of trial runs involving perishables (such as milk) and non-perishables (like auto components). Presently, truck-on-train services are accessible on the Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridors.

As per the DFCCIL official, trials for auto-components have been carried out successfully, with regular services in place for perishables like milk and cattle feed. The official mentioned the possibility of scaling up services depending on demand.

The truck-on-train service enables the direct transportation of loaded trucks to their destinations using railway wagons. Konkan Railways was the first to introduce Ro-Ro services as a dedicated facility in India. Flat BRN wagons, originally meant for transporting steel products and lacking side walls, were repurposed for RoRo operations.

The official announced the commencement of the milk and cattle feed service in June 2023. The service was initiated with a fleet of 25 trucks that operated daily in both directions. These trucks transported milk tankers from Gujarat to the National Capital Region, and on their return, they carried cattle feed for farmers and milk unions. It is estimated that each trip made by these 25 trucks would generate earnings of around Rs 8,00,000.

The official stated that currently, two trains are operating on the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), one carrying milk and the other transporting cattle feed. These trains provide truck-on-train services between New Palanpur and New Rewari, as well as between New Rewari and New Palanpur.

As per the official, the truck-on-train service for transporting auto parts is accessible on all routes of DFC. However, the current demand does not result in sufficient train load. Presently, auto-ancillaries are being transported via truck-on-train trains.

The truck-on-train service for automotive components commenced by deploying three trucks that journeyed from Gurgaon and Manesar to Mehsana in Gujarat, carrying Maruti auto parts. This service managed to cover a distance of 700 kilometers within 12 hours, a feat that usually requires a full day of travel by road.

The Rewari station can send out trains every three hours and about 250 trucks in a day. Another official mentioned that there are plans to expand this to 1,000.

“It is expected that this sector will see growth in the future. Truck operators will save money in various ways, while the initiative will help in reducing carbon emissions,” the official stated.

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