Hindalco Launched India’s First All-Aluminium Freight Train Rake Inaugurated by Ashwini Vaishnaw 

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Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw flags off  ‘Indian Railways’ first indigenously manufactured all-aluminium freight train rake developed by Hindalco which is lighter than its predecessors but has more freight carrying capacity from Bhubaneswar in Odisha on Sunday, October 16.

Hindalco - Aluminium freight train launched - inaugurated by Ashwini Vaishnaw
All-aluminum freight rail wagons were flagged off on Sunday | (Image source: Mid-day news)

Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw flags off  ‘Indian Railways’ first indigenously manufactured all-aluminium freight train rake from Bhubaneswar in Odisha on Sunday, October 16. It is developed by Hindalco, which is lighter than its predecessors but has more freight-carrying capacity 

The rake, “61 BOBRNALHSM1″ was Inaugurated

Indian Railways achieves another milestone as Hindalco today launches India’s first indigenously manufactured all-aluminium freight rail wagons. It will help to fast-track the country’s ambitious plan to modernize freight transportation and save large carbon savings for Indian Railways. 

The rake, “61 BOBRNALHSM1″ was inaugurated by the Union Minister for Railways, Ashwini Vaishnaw, at Bhubaneswar railway station in Odisha.

The gleaming rakes can carry 5-10 percent more payload, and are 180 tonnes lighter than existing steel rakes. Consequently, it would result in increased speed and the consumption of less energy with relatively minimal wear and tear to rolling stock and rails. 

The bottom-discharge aluminium freight wagon, specifically designed to carry coal, is tipped to lessen the carbon footprint measurably as the lifetime carbon saving is 8 to 10 tonnes. But, with the commencement of this train, for a single rake, the Indian Railways will be saving more than 14,500 tonnes of carbon.

Manufactured in collaboration with aluminium major Hindalco and Besco Limited Wagon Division

It is manufactured in collaboration with aluminium major Hindalco and Besco Limited Wagon Division. It also has a lower carbon footprint for every 100 kg of weight reduction in wagons, which will reduce maintenance costs. It is fully lock-bolted construction and was used to build these wagons with no welding on the superstructure, the Railways said.

Hindalco said in a statement, that the Railways are planning to deploy more than one lakh wagons in the coming years. Now, with around a 15 to 20 percent shift to aluminium wagons, the potential annual Carbon Dioxide reduction could be over 25 lakh tonnes. 

This is a noteworthy contribution to India’s sustainability goals. The new generation of wagons based on RDSO-approved designs, fabricated by Besco, are made from high-strength aluminium alloy plates and extrusions indigenously manufactured at Hindalco’s rolling facility at Hirakud, in Odisha, leveraging its global technology.

The iron and steel industry consumes a lot of nickel and cadmium, which are imported. So, augmentation of aluminum wagons will result in fewer imports, and this will also be good for the domestic aluminium industry, an official said.

Hindalco - Aluminium freight train launched - inaugurated by Ashwini Vaishnaw
Union Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw flags off Aluminum freight rake wagons (Image source: Livemint)

Hindalco Planning to Participate in Manufacturing Aluminium Coaches

Hindalco is also preparing to participate in manufacturing aluminium coaches for high-speed passenger trains. Aluminium trains command a lion’s share in Europe, the United States, and Japan because of attributes such as aerodynamic designs, sleekness, and their ability to tilt at high speeds without going off the rails, the company said.

The minister said, “These wagons have more carrying capacity and save 14,500 tonnes of Carbon Di oxide emissions, are corrosion-resistant and consume less energy. They are 100 percent recyclable and even after 30 years, they will be as good as new”.

Further, also added that “This is a glorious moment for the country and our drive for indigenization as these lightweight aluminium wagons are a great innovation for the Indian Railways.” “These aluminium wagons will help us to achieve our climate goals,” he said.

A study in 2018, had proved that automotive aluminum generates the lowest total carbon footprint. According to it, an aluminum body offers the potential to lower a vehicle’s life cycle global warming potential and primary energy demand by 7.8 metric tons of CO2 equivalent and 110 gigajoules, respectively. This is nearly equal to the total energy savings of nearly 11 million barrels of oil over the lifetime of a 600,000-unit vehicle production fleet.

Satish Pai, Managing Director, Hindalco Industries

Satish Pai, Managing Director, Hindalco Industries, said, “The launch of India’s first indigenous aluminium freight rake is proof of our competence and commitment to offer smart and sustainable solutions for building our nation. Hindalco is reliable in bringing together the best of global technologies with local resources to make Indian Railways’ logistics more coherent and contribute to the vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat.”

The freight sector in India by 2050 is expected to grow at more than 7% CAGR to 15 billion tonnes, with the eco-friendly and energy-efficient railways expected to notably increase its volume share from the current 18%.

Aluminium is the preferred choice for metro trains worldwide for its durability and, chiefly for passenger safety, as it has improved superior crash absorption capability or crashworthiness. 

Further, Indian Railways has already declared its plans to make aluminium-bodied Vande Bharat train sets.

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Isha Gupta
Isha Gupta
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