Kerala’s tillers all the way to Northeast, by rail

Workers loading power tillers manufactured by Kerala Agro Machinery Corporation Ltd. into a special goods train at the Palakkad Railway Junction goods yard on Thursday to be transported to Assam K.K. MUSTAFAH   | Photo Credit: MUSTAFAH KK

The Palakkad Division of the Southern Railway added yet another feather in its cap when it carried 648 power tillers in a special goods train from here to Assam on Thursday. This was the third consignment of power tillers sent from Palakkad Division to the Northeast during the COVID-19 period.

The Railway officials here were upbeat when they loaded the KAMCO power tillers into BCCNR wagons specially designed for carrying road vehicles and farm vehicles. The special goods train left Palakkad Junction for Changsari in Assam on Thursday night. Railway officials said that the tiller consignment would fetch them ₹25.46 lakh revenue.

1,239 so far

Palakkad Rail Division has despatched 1,239 power tillers since COVID-19 lockdown in March. When 618 power tillers were carried in May, 621 were carried in June, easing Railways from a crisis brought about by the lockdown.

The Palakkad Rail Division’s freight offer provided relief to Kerala Agro Machinery Corporation Ltd. (KAMCO) during the lockdown as the tiller producer was finding it tough to transport the machines to the Northeast. KAMCO, one of the biggest manufacturers of power tillers in India, faced the crisis at a time when it began getting bulk orders from the Northeast.

Faster delivery

KAMCO’s road transport experiment failed as it not only took many days, but also involved complicated transshipment. It took up to 25 days to reach the destination from here. Trucks could carry only a limited number of tillers. When an ordinary truck could carry 10, a Taurus truck could carry up to 15. Railways addressed this problem by providing BCCNR wagons which could carry 25 tillers in each. Railway officials said here on Thursday that the train would cover more than 3,000 km in five days and would reach Assam by Tuesday.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 1:02:51 PM |

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