By Nabayan Datta
Posted 12 months ago

Rake Allocation System of Indian Railways


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The first step in the reliability and accountability of the railway authorities with the consumers in the transportation of goods is an improved rake distribution process, which despite a lot of heavy criticism and dirty politics in the country, I personally believe that the modern distribution process has been able to make this step very much corruption free. I think It is the right of a consumer to expect a transparent and certainly regular distribution arrangement from the Railways, in return for paying service charges to the Railways. So this Rake distribution system is a huge chapter of Rails and very complex too.

Allocation i.e. distribution of empty goods for rake loading as per customer demand. Since passenger coaches have nothing to do with Rake Allocation System (RAS), we are not going in that direction.

System i.e. the way in which all the empty rakes are distributed among the customers and brought to the pre-planned stations for loading. This time the question may come to our mind, exactly how this entire distribution system is done? Generally, this entire rake distribution process is done by calculating the Oldest Day of Regulation (O-D-R) or the oldest day of regulation based on the date and time of the form or indent received by the customer. The process can be simply said, under the same Priority, the customer who will submit the form first, the railway will have to distribute the rake first by receiving his form.


In case of rake distribution, this single word carries two meanings, 1. In case of coal transportation, the purpose for which the coal is to be used, ie for power generation in thermal power plants (ELC), for pesticide production plants (FTZ), for steel plants (STL) etc. 2. Preferential Traffic Order(PTO) issued by the Railway Board to mean the preferential arrangement of traffic. We know that a total of 8 fields in the country are divided into Core and Non-Core. They are coal, steel, pesticides, cement, crude oil, refinery solvent and electricity. Except these fields all other fields are considered as Others in railway parlance. According to PTO there are total 4 classes of traffic, A, B, C and D. All military traffic in the country is treated as A, as we all know how close the relationship between Indian Army and Indian Railways is. All traffic is treated as B on a temporary basis. All traffic under Core Industry belongs to C Class and Non-Core Industry and Others all traffic belongs to D Class, most of which class is subject to "Capturing new stream of traffic" as the main goal of modern goods transport management. Railways mainly divide their customers into these categories.

> Liberalize Wagon Investor(LWI)

> General Purpose Wagon Investor (GPWI)

> Core customer

> Others D priority and Non-Core customers

> Military

> Various Railways

In all these parts, various government-owned and private institutions of the country have chosen the country's railway system for transporting their goods.


Let's come to this time, what arrangements are made by Indian Railways to distribute rakes among all the above categories of customers? I am starting with the end of Wagon Investor customers, Core, Non Core and Others customers. But before that, you need to know, how many different places are rake loading in the country? Rake loading is done from a total of 7 locations, 1. Goods Shed Siding (GSS) 2. Container Rail Terminal (CRT) 3. Private Siding 4. Assistance Siding 5. Brownfield Private Freight Terminal and 6. Greenfield Private Freight Terminal. So, considering the different indent accepting capacity and rake loading capacity of each siding in terms of day and month, it is recommended to distribute rake as a percentage of each month in Core, Non-Core and Others category. But from where the loading is done under only one category, there is no need to distribute the percentage of rake in different categories, there is usually distribution of rake by ODR method. Again in some cases this ODR method is observed direction wise. For that, the form (Indent) must be of Non-Core category and the traffic must be more than a certain kilometer. As a hypothetical example of this, South Eastern Railway's Haldia port via ECR-bound via Dankuni, ECoR-bound, ER-bound indent will prevail in that order.

Allocations made to Wagon Investor

Lets come to the context of distribution and loading of private category rakes under these two schemes GPWIS and LWIS. In this case also ODR procedure is followed. These rakes will remain stable on their sidings until the owner issues a form for their transportation to the railways. The rakes will reach the loading point only through the route issued by the Railway Board after the railway authorities accept their form. Needless to say, the dominance of private rakes never matches the dominance of rakes under Indian Railways, two different perspectives.

Rake distribution to military and Departmental traffic

The rake distribution of military traffic is the first row dominant and vice versa the rake distribution of departmental traffic of various railways is the last row dominant.

Stone rake allocation for Bangladesh Railway 

For movement of stone rake to Bangladesh from different policy decisions have been formulated for increase in loading from Eastern Railway. Such allocation are done in two different ways.

 A. Except Out of Turn Quota i.e a loading station wise cyclical quota. Suppose a zone have 10 stone loading station, allocation of rake will be made up on these 10 station, serial wise in rotational way

B. Out of Turn Quota i.e. a special priority quota given to all quoted consignor-consignee listed by Rail board based on their turnover. They are given a particular no. of rake to load on monthly basis from any nominated station.

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