Everyone knows the baggage compartment in an EMU commonly known as local trains. However, for the first time in 169 years of Indian Railways history, freight EMUs are being conceptualized. In this budget, they sanctioned Rs 1500 crore for the development of this cargo EMU.
According to senior Ministry of Railways officials, the government has earmarked a budget of Rs 200 crore as capital and another Rs 1300 crore as extra budgetary resources (EBR), which was mentioned in the Pink Book of Indian Railways. This project is directly monitored by the Railway Board in Delhi. However, they only provided Rs 1000 – as a token amount – as proposed expenditure for 2022-23.
As per the plans, the Ministry of Railways plans to design, manufacture and procure 25 sets of freight EMUs at a cost of Rs 60 crore per set. “Each set will consist of 16 cars (coaches). This will usually be longer than the regular EMUs we see in Mumbai where the trains are usually 12 or 15 cars each,” a Railway Board official said.
The railway authorities claim that the plan is still in the conceptual stage and a lot of work needs to be done on the same. “As an EMU is a self-propelled train, it will become easier to transport freight and luggage weighing several tons. We may just have to create cars similar to the existing luggage compartment inside a local train”, said another railway official on condition of anonymity.
The railways could mainly look at the carrying capacities of a local train that carried 4,200 to 4,500 people per 12-car train during peak hours as a dense crush load, during the pre-pandemic era. Moreover, these EMUs can easily travel at 100-110 km/h unlike a regular freight train transported by locomotives.
These freight EMUs could operate on intercity routes linking metropolitan cities to stations where products – both agricultural and industrial – are produced or manufactured. It could also be used to supply goods reserved on e-commerce websites and applications and it is transported on short routes covering cities.
Posted: Saturday 05 February 2022, 07:02 IST