Southern Railway (SR) has rolled out seven locomotives with colourful exterior advertisements. The first locomotive was flagged off by SR general manager John Thomas at Dindigul junction, yesterday, (Tuesday, 28th January 2020).
These locomotives have been introduced as part of the railways effort to increase non-fare revenue. Railway officials said the first two engines that have now rolled out have been taken by SKM Feeds. The remaining five have been taken up by other corporates and can soon be seen on the tracks. Officials said that prior to Salem division, Nagpur railway division in Maharashtra had introduced this form of non-fare revenue general generation.
In SR, the first batch of seven engines were allotted by floating tenders for a three-year period. It is expected to fetch revenue of Rs 42 lakh – at Rs 2 lakh per annum per locomotive. It has been launched in WAP-4, WAP-7 and WAG-7 locomotives running from Erode and will be fitted to mail and express trains running through Salem division.
The area allotted per engine is 533 square feet and it can be changed once in three months when the locomotives are brought to the yard in Erode for their routine maintenance work. During the routine check, the locomotives will be under maintenance for a period of seven to eight days, when maintenance as well as painting (if needed) will be carried out simultaneously.
Though there are no specific routes for these locomotives as they will allotted to trains based on requirement and availability, these locomotives will be pulling various trains across south India and will travel as far as Nagpur.
This condition has been made clear to ensure that the advertisers don’t affect the operations of railways by frequently changing it. Railway officials said they had initially floated tenders for such advertisements on 19 locomotives. Retendering will be done for the 12 locomotives that did not have takers due to various reasons.