India’s First Aluminum Freight Rake

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    • The Union minister for Railways recently launched India’s first all-aluminium freight rail rakes.

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    • About:
      • 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. 
    • Characteristics:
      • 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.
    • Significance:
      • 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: PIB