South Central Railways harnesses new-age containers for bulk cement transport

Hyderabad: In a first-of-its kind initiative which is a potential game changer in the transportation of bulk cement, South Central Railways (SCR) has loaded Bulk Cement in Specialised Tank containers and Containers with Liner Bags. The specialised tank containers offer flexibility for movement by rail, road or ship.

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The first rake has been loaded from M/s Bharathi Cements siding in Yerraguntla of Andhra Pradesh to Irugur and Tondiarpet in Tamil Nadu. The container rake is being moved as a single rake consisting of 30 specialised tank containers, each having a capacity of approximately 26 tonnes, and 50 containers with liner bags, each having a capacity of approximately 27 tonnes.

Bulk cement dispatch constitutes around 25 per cent of the total cement production of nearly 350 million tonnes. This traffic is predominantly transported currently through non-rail modes of transport.

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With the introduction of these specialised containers, there is huge potential for railways to tap this significant traffic to its freight basket.

Previously, bulk cement by rail was being done through privately owned wagons which required huge investment in terms of unloading terminals and silos.

However, transportation through these specialised containers allows easy movement of bulk cement from rail to lorry flats and vice-versa.

The specialised tank containers can be moved to any of the customer premises, giving flexibility to the customer while also avoiding the need for dedicated railway siding.

They can be unloaded by mechanised reach stackers at any of the goods sheds without creating any additional unloading infrastructure and silos. The specialised tank containers offer an environment-friendly means of transportation.

Arun Kumar Jain, General Manager (In-Charge), South Central Railways said: “Loading of bulk cement in specialised containers is a win-win situation to both the cement producers and railways. While it provides a cost-effective, flexible and fast transportation option for the cement producers, it opens up a new stream of traffic for Railways.”

Jain said that conscious efforts are being taken up by the Railways to meet the requirement of industry so that best possible transportation options are made available to them.

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