India’s First Aluminum Freight Rake

  • IASbaba
  • October 21, 2022
  • 0
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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.
  • Other:
    • 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


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