Last week Izzatnagar division of northeastern railway (NER) dispatched 118 mini trucks to Benapole in Bangladesh from Haldi Road station in Uttarakhand. The uniqueness of this consignment was that NER used its nearly two dozen redundant ICF (Integral coach factory) coaches, which earlier served in railway for more than three decades ferrying passengers. According to NER officials, due to the rise in demand for freight services, railway engineers came up with an idea to covert passenger coaches into automobile ferrying wagons, which are known as NMG (newly modified goods) wagons.
“The NMG wagons speed limit is 100kmph against the regular wagons whose operational limit seizes at 75kmph. After removing all the berths, and wielding the windows and doors with metal sheets, the modified coaches turn into freight rake, which can be used for ten more years in goods services. Since NMG wagons have excellent goods carrying capacity and are pulled by electric locomotives, it becomes cost effective from operational point of view and further the benefit is carried forward to consumer,” said Pankaj Kumar Singh, the chief public relation officer of NER zone.
On August 18, a consignment of 118 mini-trucks was dispatched from Izzatnagar division in NMG wagons and the rake covered over 1360 km to deliver the vehicles scratch free to our neighbouring country Bangladesh. Each wagon had a capacity to carry five mini trucks, said CPRO.
He added, “The customer was charged Rs 13, 440 a unit, while in regular wagon it would had cost them Rs 27,315 unit and by road the cost could have been Rs 16,666 a unit. After the first delivery, we expect more business for our NMG rake.
Currently our engineers have converted 70 ICF coaches into NGM at Izzatnagar and 18 at Gorakhpur coach maintenance facility.” From the delivery of 11 mini-trucks to neighbouring country Bangladesh, railway earned Rs 16,80,356 as revenue. According to railway sources, the conversion of one ICF coach into NMG wagon cost NER more than Rs 6 lakh.