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In an initiative aimed at increasing the market share of Indian Railways in the movement of general cargo across the nation, the South Central Railway (SCR) will be launching its first Cargo Express train on August 5.

The SCR announced on Wednesday that under this concept, a timetabled freight train will be started from Sanath Nagar in Hyderabad to Adarsh Nagar in New Delhi.

The SCR has taken this as a pilot project for a period of six months and would be running the Cargo Express once a week every Wednesday.

“Generally, only those commodities are being moved by freight trains which are in bulk and require transportation of a huge quantity by a single train by the customers. All these freight trains are generally loaded with a single commodity. However, with the gradual increase in the market for transportation of non-bulk commodity segments, it is imperative that Railways take steps to attract this segment of traffic as well,” it said.

Under this unique concept, general cargo will be carried into a single train to the mutual benefit of both Railways and freight customers because transportation by the Railways is not only safest but is also cost-effective.

For the first time in nearly four decades, Indian Railways is permitting wagon level indenting to aid small and medium-sized customers. Customers having even one wagon material of 60 tonnes can book their cargo on this train.

This train will run as per the scheduled departure and arrival timings and days at both ends. The transit time to cover a distance of around 1,700 km between Sanath Nagar to Adarsh Nagar is just 34 hours with an average speed of 50 kmph.

The train will depart every Wednesday evening from Hyderabad and reach Delhi on Friday morning.

The average freight tariff from Hyderabad to Delhi and vice-versa is Rs 2,500 per tonne, depending on the type of commodity loaded. It is almost 40 per cent lesser than charges applicable by road and also the existing railway parcel tariff.

The Cargo Express can be tracked on FOIS on a real time basis. The loading/unloading facility is also available at both Sanath Nagar (Hyderabad) and Adarsh Nagar (Delhi) Goods Sheds at competitive rates.

SCR General Manager Gajanan Mallya stated that South Central Railway has always been a step forward in introducing customer-friendly initiatives for the freight segment and introduction of Cargo Express will further strengthen these initiatives. He said that the concept will be particularly beneficial to agriculture producers, traders, cargo movers, small and medium/mini plant owners who will be able to move their cargo in record transit time at very low tariffs.

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