New Delhi: Railway minister Piyush Goyal said Railways are aiming to achieve a modal share of 20% by the end of 2021-22, and a modal share of 30% by 2023-24.

Goyal met who is who of the automobile industry leaders to give boost to automobile loading through Railways.

Representatives of SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers), Tata Motors, Hyundai Motors, Ford Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Honda India, and Maruti Suzuki Ltd, Automobile Freight Train Operators (AFTOs) and Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA), who were all part of the meeting, lauded  the initiative and committed to work in partnership with Indian Railways to facilitate transportation of automobiles through Railways.

Indian Railways is attaining new heights in transportation of automobiles. The total loading of automobiles through Railway was only 429 rakes in 2013-14, which has increased to 1,595 rakes 2019-20. And in the first six months of the current year (Apr to Sep), Indian Railway has loaded 836 rakes of automobiles against 731 rakes in the previous year (despite almost negligible loading in the first two months).

The participants in the interaction were informed about the steps taken by Railways to promote loading of automobiles, which has led to this quantum jump – and were asked to bring more loading to Rail.

Steps taken to facilitate Automobile loading:

a) Haulage Charges for BCACBM rakes have not been revised since May 2013

b) Freight for NMGs has not been revised since May 2018

c) Increase in the number of NMG rakes – from 30 (on 1st April) to 42

d) Two-destination loading permitted in NMG rakes

e) Export of Automobiles permitted:

i)Traffic to Bangladesh started in NMG rakes

ii)Traffic to Nepal started, via Nautanva terminal (NE Railway)

f) 7 new terminals opened for Automobile loading

Chitpur (ER); Penukonda (SWR); Nasrala (NR); Nautanva (NER) – for traffic to Nepal; Salchapara, Furkating, & New Tinsukia (all NFR)

j) Now approx. 52 Railway terminals available

k) All Private Sidings, PFTs, and ICDs can handle Automobile traffic

Representatives of the industry were all praise for the Railways for the help and support being extended to them – and confirmed that efforts will be on to bring more and more loading towards Railway.

Participants were informed that more terminals being opened up for automobile traffic (as per demands of the industry) Charodi (WR), Bakshi Ka Talab (NER), Mesra (ECR). Also, export to Bangladesh in BCACBM rakes being planned in coordination with Bangladesh Railway. New taller design of auto-carrier wagons(using the envelop of Double Stack Dwarf Containers) being developed by RDSO in consultation with the industry.

Participants were assured that all possible help will be extended to them, and all their concerns and issues will be addressed on priority.