In an unprecedented development, the Rail Coach Factory (RCF) in Kapurthala, a prestigious production unit of the Railways, is all set to unveil its groundbreaking creation – a state-of-the-art double-decker coach, expected to hit the tracks next month. What makes this coach truly revolutionary is its ingenious design, with the upper deck dedicated to comfortable passenger seating, while the lower deck serves as a versatile space for transporting goods.
The introduction of this remarkable service is expected to usher in a new era of time-bound cargo movement, a significant source of revenue for the Railways. Mr. Ashesh Agrawal, the General Manager of Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, expressed his excitement, stating, “Most probably, we will roll out the first cargo liner concept by next month. This will be the first-of-its-kind double-decker coach in India, where there will be space for seating passengers on the upper deck while the lower deck will be utilized for cargo movement. Once completed, it will undergo a trial run by the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), a research and development organization under the Ministry of Railways.”
The successful implementation of the trial run will pave the way for the production of more coaches by RCF, leading to the establishment of regular scheduled services on fixed routes, known as cargo liners. Such a transformation promises to create an excellent opportunity for the Railways to capitalize on the FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) and miscellaneous goods market.
Insiders have revealed that changing patterns in freight traffic, shifting from bulk to smaller shipments, have amplified the demand for transporting smaller quantities of white goods, particularly from the FMCG sector.
The Rail Ministry has been actively promoting freight movement over the past few years, recognizing it as a pivotal source of revenue. As evident from the remarkable figures, during the financial year 2022-23, the freight revenue skyrocketed to an impressive Rs 1.62 lakh crore, exhibiting nearly 15 percent growth over the previous year.
Mr. Agrawal further disclosed that RCF is also on track to manufacture 16 coaches of the illustrious Vande Bharat train in the current fiscal year.
With this groundbreaking double-decker coach, the Railways are set to embark on a path of innovation and progress, bringing together passengers and cargo seamlessly to enhance the efficiency and productivity of rail transport. The future is undoubtedly looking brighter as we witness a remarkable evolution in India’s railway network, solidifying its position as a pioneering force in modern transportation. All aboard for a journey into the future!