India's first aluminium freight rake introduced by Hindalco for Indian Railways; details inside

World Monday 17/October/2022 09:21 AM
India's first aluminium freight rake introduced by Hindalco for Indian Railways; details inside

Bhubaneswar: Hindalco has launched India's first all-aluminium freight rail rakes, a bid to help fast-track the country's ambitious plan to modernise freight transportation and enable significant carbon savings for Indian Railways.

The aluminium-made rakes are 180 tonnes lighter than existing steel rakes; they can carry 5-10 per cent more load and consume less energy.

Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Railways flagged off the new 61-wagon rake from Bhubaneswar station, which carried coal for Hindalco's Aditya Smelter in Lapanga, Odisha.

"This is a proud moment for the country and our drive for indigenization as these lightweight aluminium wagons are a big innovation for Indian Railways," a statement said on Sunday quoting the minister as saying on the occasion.

"These wagons save 14,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions, have more carrying capacity, consume less energy and are corrosion-resistant. They are 100 per cent recyclable; even after 30 years, they will be as good as new. These aluminium wagons will enable us to achieve our climate goals," he added.

It is estimated that for every 100 kg weight reduction of the wagon, the CO2 saving is 8-10 tonnes. This translates to saving more than 14,500 tonnes of CO2 for a single rake.

With Indian Railways planning to deploy more than one lakh wagons in the coming years, the potential annual CO2 reduction could be to the tune of over 25 lakh tonnes - a notable contribution to the country's sustainability goals, the statement said.

"The launch of India's first aluminium freight rake is a testimony to our capability and commitment to offer smart and sustainable solutions for nation-building. Hindalco is steadfast in bringing together the best of global technologies with local resources to make Indian Railways' logistics more efficient and contribute to the vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat," said Satish Pai, Managing Director at Hindalco Industries.

The new generation wagons, fabricated by M/S BESCO based on RDSO-approved design are made from high-strength aluminium alloy plates and extrusions, indigenously made at Hindalco's rolling facility in Hirakud, Odisha with extrusions from the company's Renukoot plant in UP, leveraging its global technology.

The freight sector in India is expected to grow at more than 7 per cent 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 per cent.

Hindalco, the statement said, is also planning to participate in the manufacturing of aluminium coaches for high-speed passenger trains. Aluminium trains command the lion's share in the United States, Europe and Japan because of attributes such as sleek, aerodynamic designs and their 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. Hindalco is committed to bringing in this revolutionary change in India and is engaged in discussions with the global partners to set up a conducive ecosystem in India," the statement added.