India’s first indigenously-made aluminium freight train rake

The Indian Railways recently flagged off the first indigenously-made aluminium goods train rake in Odisha.

Key facts

  • The aluminium goods train was jointly developed by Besco Limited Wagon Division and aluminium major Hindalco.
  • It is developed based on the designs approved by the Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO).
  • The wagon was made using high-strength aluminium alloy plates and extrusion, indigenously developed by Hindalco’s rolling facility in Hirakud, Odisha.
  • The aluminium rake is 180 tonnes lighter than the existing steel rake. This has increased the travel speed and minimized the power consumption for the same distance.
  • It can carry 5-10% additional payload while consuming lesser energy.
  • It will offer a 19 per cent higher payload-to-tare weight ratio, which will significantly improve India Railways’ logistics and operational efficiency.
  • The aluminium train can save 8 to 10 tonnes of carbon footprint for every 100 kg weight reduction.
  • This means that a single aluminium rake can save more than 14,500 tonnes of carbon.
  • It is corrosion-resistant and 100 per cent recyclable. Even after 30 years, the aluminium rake can operate as though new.
  • This will significantly help India achieve its climate goals.
  • The Indian Government is currently planning on deploying more than 1 lakh aluminium wagons in the near future.
  • According to the government’s plan, aluminium wagons will account for over 15 to 25 per cent of the total wagons. This will reduce the annual carbon footprint by over 25 lakh tonnes, paving the way toward the achievement of sustainable development goals.

Significance

Aluminium is popularly used in metro trains across the world because of its durability and superior crash absorption capability. Aluminium trains dominate in the United States, Japan, and Europe due to their sleek, aerodynamic design and their ability to tilt at high speed without the risk of derailment. The Indian Railways is currently planning to develop aluminium-bodied Vande Bharat trains.

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