By Nabayan Datta
Posted 4 weeks ago

Long Trains in IR - History & Significance

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A key difference between rail transport system and all other inland transport systems is the carrying capacity per consignment. Which is very much for a freight train. A single freight train is capable of transporting an average of 4000 tonnes of goods in a single consignment, in a 59 unit train. So one of the reasons for thie greater reliability of the people of the country towards this railway system in internal trade is the size of the railway cars. The term long train has two different meanings in the railway system, 1. Length of a rake according to wagons 2. Length of a train according to rakes. I will share something in my simple language how railways can haul more tonnage to their customers in shortest time by increasing train length.

Length of a rake Per unit:-

As mentioned earlier, thing that makes rail superior to road and air freight transport is that a single. By consignment, the amount of goods that a train can deliver to its destination is relatively less than the other two. Transporting large quantities of goods in a single consignment requires wagons with higher carrying capacity and rakes consisting of a larger number of wagons. New Delhi, Railway Board cited two reasons why a train can have maximum number of wagons? As stated as the main reason, the number of wagons of a rake is limited by the Loop length and Ruling Gradient of the moving section. And, as a secondary factor, the train load of each wagon is divided between the wagons and the nature and demand of the goods transported in those wagons. For example, BCN trains can have at most 43 wagons in total, BOXN trains can have at most 59 wagons. One thing has been proved in the matter that since BOXN wagons carries raw coal, it is natural that the number of wagons in that rake is more than all the others and in fact the number of wagons of BOXN is more than all the others. Because, there is no need to repeat how essential coal is to civilization. Correspondingly, loop lines in Indian Railways are sized according to the size of a 59 BOXN + 2 Loco and not all stations in any division are capable of accommodating such lenght, especially those stations whose layouts are somewhat outdated.

Length of a train per rake:-

3rd March, 2011 On the recommendation of the Senior Divisional Operation Manager of Allahabad Division, a committee called 'Recommendation Committee for long haul operation' was formed with all the COMs and engineers of the country. A groundbreaking decision was taken that, like the railways of all the developed countries of the world like the USA and Australian railways, the freight business will be developed here by forming and running long haul trains. At that time, all the railways of the country, except Eastern Railway, North Eastern Frontier Railway and East Central Railway, started running these long haul trains on trial basis and 25 Nos. of long haul train were run per day across the country. Then there are two plans from the traffic, mechanical and electrical branches of the rail board about when and how the train will be formed, 1. Short term and 2. Long term plans and set some rules regarding them.

Short term

1.These trains can be formed only from some specified stations.

2. Inspite of having separate BPC for each rake, a separate type of BPC has to be issued for the entire train, which we know as Cover BPC.

3. In that BPC, it will be stated at which station the long haul formation will be broken and it will also be said that if any emergency situation occurs somewhere in the middle, it can be broken at any station.

4. If you want to make a long haul train, you have to keep some points in mind regarding the arrangement of rakes and engines, such as: if you want to make a long haul train with loaded and empty rakes, keep the loaded rake in front, empty one after it, then loaded again, then empty again. These must be arranged in formation. Regarding locomotives of long haul trains, front locomotives can do Air pressure creation, Braking and Tractive effort but rear locomotives can do nothing except Tractive effort and emergency braking.

Long term

1. In the case of long haul train formation, the optional use of Twin pipe rake, it increases the pressure very quickly and easily, which is very essential in a long train like long haul.

2. Modern DPWCS (for electric locos) and DPCS (for diesel locos)) will be used for improved communication between locomotives.

3. Construction of Long Loop lines of more than 1 km in the distance of 50 km on each of the busiest routes of the country in the next few years, so that the momentum of the passenger train is not hindered for the continuous movement of the long haul train.

Correspondingly, the country's longest long haul train so far is made up with 3 BOXNS and 2 BOXNHL rake and is 3.5 km long, weighed 27000t. approx which was amalgamated by Bilaspur Division of South East Central Railway and named it 'Super Vasuki'. The train run continuously from Korba to Rajnandgaon. Also, WDFC division of DFCR zone of the country is running the first double stack container train as long haul in the country. Means, 2 trains are running together but due to double layer stacking, load is carried by 4 trains. This success of DFCR has left a response among the railway companies all over the world and we should be proud to hear that, the management of this consist has been proven better than the freight management of American railway companies and Chinese railway companies. Also, now each zonal division is making long haul trains and covering short kilometers on a daily basis.

Needfulness 

So, what is the need of running long haul goods train? After running all these long haul trains in the Indian railway system, many people applauded, but some people did not stop criticizing the matter. I have seen those criticisms in many places on social media, and I think the two criticisms made by them are important. 

1. How such type of running save the normal transit time of any consignment? i don't think so it works.

2. It will create sectional congestion and bunched the coaching traffic.

I am trying to answer these two critics as much as I can and understand as much as I can. First of all, you need to know what internal factors are involved in the transit time of a consignment. From loading to unloading, many events take place. I will talk about two factors in it. The first factor that comes to mind is:-

Ordering of Train:- From rake loading to rake release crew ordering is given accordingly by making an accurate pre-estimate of the departure of the train based on crew availability, path availability and power availability. The accuracy of that depends on the TT loss of that train.

Total time of crew on run:- How long does a crew stay running on that train and how far do they take that train in their 8 hour/10 hour duty period? These two are key indicators regarding TT of Consignment. Because, the TT of consignment does not depend on what the crew is doing outside the running hours during their duty period or how little they are in the running state. What are the reasons for their maximum output being hindered during the duty period? Two reasons can be identified:-

               

               1. Procedural Obstacles:- It has been said in a JPO of the Railway Board that before starting from an originating station or a station where the rake is stable for more than 24 hours, the Mainline crew must check the entire train along with the Guard. It consumes 45 minutes to 1 hour of his duty period.

                2. Operational constraints:- Several pre-planned crew changing stations are defined within each division. Means, Crew has to drop from whichever direction the train is coming and the next crew takes charge of that train and sometimes the train even cannot covered 100 km in 10-12 hours.

There are also many other unavoidable reasons such as, Sectional congestion, Traffic Block, Accident, Rail roko etc. But to overcome the above two avoidable reasons and decrease TT as much as possible, Railways have started an incredible approach by running multiple trains in the same direction simultaneously by amalgamating each other, without changing crew midway in that direction, continuously up to a nominated marshalling yard. As a result, Crew saving is done, TT of more consignments is saved a lot. Thus if more than one division can operate in this manner in the total journey of the consignment little by little, TT will save a lot. If someone asks how it will be benefited to run multiple train coupled with each other instead of running separately? Let's say there is a pre-planned departure of 2 goods trains from Anara station of South Eastern Railway towards Andal after crew change. One is BOXN/STAR and the other is BOXN/PACT. BOXN/STAR is almost ready to leave Annara and BOXN/PACT is entering Anara. This time, if two trains of the same direction are run separately and not together, then it may take several hours to arrange the crew separately for the train that entered later and prepare the car for departure. This time there may be several other trains between when it is ready and when it leaves BOXN/STAR. As a result, due to not getting the path at the right margin, BOXN/PACT may have to stand for a long time even after being ready. Because, to run a through goods train with proper momentum, it is necessary to get line clear from multiple stations before it. So if BOXN/STAR and BOXN/PACT are run together, the above problems can be overcome. Because, if two trains are joined together then it becomes high priority train. As a loop line of sufficient length is not available to catch it in the middle, it can be brought to the next nominated station by pulling it. It will save the transit time of two cars and if the number of long haul trains is slowly increased by this practice, the sectional congestion will also decrease, as a result, other traffic can be brought down in that section.

The answer to the second criticism can be found in the above analysis!

 

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