Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw inaugurated India’s first aluminium freight rake – 61 BOBRNALHSM1 – at Bhubaneshwar Railway Station on Sunday. The rake’s destination is Bilaspur.
An official statement said this was a dedicated effort for a Make in India programme as it had been fully designed and developed indigenously in collaboration with Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO), HINDALCO and Besco Wagon. Notably, it is a first-time aluminium rake that has been manufactured in India with the feature of fully lock-bolted construction with no welding on the superstructure.
The statement said the tare is also 3.25 tonnes lower than normal steel rakes, and 180-tonne extra carrying capacity results in higher throughput per wagon. The reduced tare will reduce carbon footprint as lower consumption of fuel in empty direction and more transport of freight in loaded condition, it said. A single rake can save over 14,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) over its lifetime. It has also 80 percent resale value of the rakes.
It has also mentioned that the cost is 35 percent higher as the superstructure is all aluminium and has lower maintenance cost due to higher corrosion and abrasion resistance properties. These types of wagons have a 10 years longer lifespan of rakes as compared to normal rakes.
The statement also mentioned that the iron industry consumes a lot of nickel and cadmium from import. So, the proliferation of aluminium wagons will result in less import. At the same time, this is good for the local aluminium industry, it added.