Railways cuts Coal Rates by 25% as Track Completion cuts out Sea Route

NEW DELHI: The completion of additional train tracks in stretches along the eastern coast has enabled the Railways to lower by 25 per cent the rates for transportation of coal. It will use the all-rail route instead of the rail-cum-sea route.

Earlier, the Railways had set a cap on the quantity of coal to be transported due to capacity crunch, and urged its customers to ship a part of their coal cargo.

The move also helped the Railways garner longer distance traffic.

Long-distance traffic

As a result, coal to be moved from Talcher fields to power stations in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu partly by the rail-cum-sea route. “The Railways a few years back permitted only 50 per cent of coal through the all-rail route from Odisha to the southern States while the remaining 50 per cent had to be necessarily shipped by the coastal route.

“In the last few years we commissioned some of the doubling and other capacity augmentation works enabling the all-rail route,” Railways’ Member Traffic, Mohammad Jamshed, told.

After completing the project, the Railways wrote to States’ Chief Secretaries urging them to move the coal via the rail route.

Lower freight cost

“The freight charges from Talcher to southern power utilities worked out to be about 25 per cent lower compared to the rail-cum-sea route with multiple handling costs,” he said, adding that as a result of this drop in transportation cost, the per unit electricity cost could come down.

The move has also helped the Railways garner extra, longer distance traffic.

Coal loading up

In October, the total coal loaded by the East Coast Railway, was one million tonne, a 36 per cent jump against the same period last fiscal, according to Railway data.

The Talcher power facility is located in the East Coast Railway zone.

In April-October 2017, the total coal loaded from the zone surged eight million tonnes, reflecting a 52 per cent jump over the corresponding period of the last fiscal.