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Railways bet on this fast moving ‘Python’

Clubbing three rakes, these goods trains can move more cargo in one journey

This giant ‘Python’ moves at a speed of 50-60 kmph to ensure that it reaches its destination on time.

Aptly named the ‘Python Rake’, this long-haul goods train, comprising rakes for transporting different kinds of cargo and stretching to a length of up to two kilometres, has operated successfully three times in less than a month from Sambalpur in Odisha to the Waltair division of the East Coast Railway. The goal: to ensure faster evacuation of cargo.

Zonal pilot project

A railway official described it as a pilot project being undertaken in the zone. Such trains will run regularly once the proposed Dedicated Freight Corridors become a reality. Instead of one rake, three rakes are clubbed together. The rakes are supplied to the Visakhapatnam Port for despatch to various destinations. The rakes are also sent to Bailadilla mines of NMDC in Chhattisgarh to bring iron ore.

It is time saving, energy efficient and cost effective for users. A regular goods train stretches up to 650 to 800 metres. A ‘Python Rake’ consists of 147 wagons and looks like a snake because of its formation with two engines in the front and two at the rear. It hauls tanker wagons, flat wagons to carry containers and box wagons. “If such goods trains are run on regular basis, it will ensure evacuation of cargo without any delay giving a big relief to the ports as well as the users,” said Visakhapatnam Port deputy chairman P.L. Haranadh.

Due to its length, a ‘Python Rake’ cannot be operated regularly to mainline stations as express trains have to be allowed to pass through on a priority. When required the ‘Python Rake’ can be split into two trains because of its configuration with four engines.

Mr. Haranadh said running of one freight train in place of three had been identified as a focus area by the Indian Railways.

The Sambalpur division had been chosen to operate the ‘Python Rake’ since it did not have much congestion, a railway official said, declining to be identified. Once the track doubling work on the Rayagada-Vizianagaram line is completed in about one year, it would enable the ‘Python Rake’ to haul a higher number of aluminium tankers.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 6:31:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/railways-bet-on-this-fast-moving-python/article27141718.ece

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