New Delhi: Crisis has been known to stoke creativity because it puts one's limits to test, or so it seems has been the case with the Railways and its foodgrains delivery timeline. What has changed? The Railways has been delivering 5,200 tonnes of foodgrains in one go instead of the 2,600 tonnes of foodgrains it delivered earlier.
To ensure delivery of bigger volumes at a faster speed, the Railways have innovated by joining two freight trains together. The idea was first put to practice by the Northern Railways and then the South Central Railways also tweaked it to suit its own needs and save time.
Northern Railway has formed 5,000-tonne long-haul loaded foodgrain trains. At least 25 such Annapoorna trains have been formed and run by the Northern Railway upto April 16. They have covered states like Assam, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Mizoram. These long-lead, long-haul foodgrain trains have gone up to New Bongaigaon (NBQ) in NFR.
Like Northern Railway, the South Central Zone of Indian Railways too has come up with a unique concept of running "Jai Kisan" special freight trains so as to ensure speedy delivery of foodgrains to different parts of the country.
Under this concept, two freight trains loaded from two different originating stations are clubbed at the nearest junction point and moved as a single train up to the common junction point of the destination stations, taking the advantage of path availability due to non-running of passenger carrying trains. The first train was moved from Dornakal Junction in Telangana on South Central Railway to Southern Railway (Sevuru and Chettinad) by clubbing two food grains trains at Dornakal Junction. Similarly, the Second Jai Kisan Special train was also clubbed at Dornakal Junction in Telangana and moved to Southern Railway (Dindigal and Mudiyapakkam). Significantly, these trains have registered an average speed of 44 kmph, fulfilling the objective of speedy movement of the essential commodities.
Under normal circumstances, one freight train containing 42 covered wagons loaded with foodgrains carried around 2,600 tonnes. But in the new concept, two freight trains means 42+42=84 covered wagons, with 5,200 tonnes of foodgrains can be moved at a time. This concept drastically reduces the journey time of the freight trains to their respective destinations.