DFCCIL unveils India’s first ‘Truck on Train’ service

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In an innovative leap in logistics, Dedicated Freight Corridor Company India Limited (DFCCIL) spearheaded the first ‘truck on train’ service on the western freight corridor of India.

Chugged from Gurgaon and Manesar to Gujarat’s Mehsana, three trucks laden with Maruti auto parts on this pioneering journey covered a distance that typically takes trucks about 700km on the road in a mere 12-hour rail ride, marking a significant milestone in India’s freight transport sector.

Their inaugural rail journey from New Rewari to Palanpur, hailed by Union Railway Minister Ashwani Vaishnav, is not just a testament to India’s infrastructural ambitions but a bold stride towards an eco-friendlier, more efficient logistics model. Capable of transporting approximately 250 trucks daily with visions to expand to 1,000, this roll-on, roll-off (RO-RO) method is set to revolutionize how freight moves across the nation.

The initiative of transferring the bulk of freight transport from road to rail will help mitigate carbon emissions significantly, alleviate road congestion, address the persistent issue of driver shortages, and prolong the lifespan of vehicles.

Maruti Suzuki’s endorsement and adoption of this policy is a testament to the industry’s shift towards sustainable logistics solutions.

Apart from being an environmental gesture, the ‘truck on train’ service also presents a compelling economic case for the logistics sector. The initiative will potentially help save on fuel, toll taxes, and vehicle maintenance for truck operators. Moreover, by reducing travel time by half, the service significantly enhances the efficiency of freight movement. This innovative approach aligns seamlessly with the goals of the National Infrastructure Pipeline and the PM Gati Shakti Plan, endeavoring to foster high-speed connectivity and transit safety while minimizing the environmental footprint of freight transport.

Furthermore, it contributes directly to India’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, particularly in promoting environmentally friendly mobility and building safer infrastructure. With the implementation of initiatives like KAVACH by Indian Railways and the Advanced Traffic Management System by MoRTH, the focus on reducing emissions and ensuring the safety of freight movement has never been clearer.

Challenges and Future Prospects

Despite the clear advantages, the adoption of the ‘truck on train’ service faces a set of challenges, including the initial investment in infrastructure and technology to support the project and even the task of convincing the logistics sector to pivot from traditional road transport to this innovative rail solution. However, the potential for this service to redefine logistics, making it more sustainable and efficient, is immense.

Moving ahead, the emphasis will be on broadening the scope of this service, streamlining its processes, and potentially serving as a model for comparable initiatives worldwide. In a global landscape contending with the intertwined challenges of economic advancement and ecological conservation, India’s groundbreaking ‘truck on train’ service stands out as a shining example of innovative and sustainable logistics.

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