Context: Recently the union minister for Railways recently launched India’s first all-aluminium freight rail rakes.
About Aluminum Freight Rake:
- Hindalco has developed these all-aluminium freight rail rakes.
- The Aluminum rakes have been developed to:
- Modernise freight transportation and
- Enable large carbon savings for Indian Railways.
- 61-wagon rakes have been flagged off from Bhubaneswar station.
- The rakes are 180 tonnes lighter than existing steel rakes.
- They can carry 5-10% more payload.
- They consume less energy with relatively negligible wear and tear to rolling stock and rails.
- Saving Carbon emissions:
- The bottom discharge aluminium freight wagon, specifically designed to carry coal, is tipped to reduce the carbon footprint measurably. These wagons save 14,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
- For every 100 kg weight reduction of the wagon, the lifetime CO2 saving is 8-10 tonnes. This translates to a saving of more than 14,500 tonnes of CO2 for a single rake.
- These all-aluminium rakes offer 19% higher payload to tare weight ratio, which will have a transformative impact on the Railways’ logistics and operational efficiency.
- They consume less energy and are corrosion-resistant.
- They are 100% recyclable and even after 30 years, they will be as good as new.
- Boost for growth of sector:
- The freight sector in India is expected to grow at more than 7% CAGR to 15-billion tonnes by 2050, with the energy-efficient and eco-friendly Railways expected to notably increase its volume share from the current 18%.
Significance of using Aluminium:
- Aluminium trains command a lion’s share in the United States, Europe and Japan.
- This is because of its attributes such as sleek, aerodynamic designs.
- They also have an ability to tilt at high speeds without going off the rails.
- Aluminium is the preferred choice for metro trains worldwide for their durability and most importantly – passenger safety, as it has improved crashworthiness or superior crash absorption capability.
- Indian Railways have already announced their plans to make aluminium bodied Vande Bharat train sets.
Source: The Hindu