The railway plans to put into operation double-decker wagons that can carry SUVs

Indian Railways, still the inexpensive and popular mode of transport for car manufacturers, is expected to introduce redesigned double-deck car transport cars over the next two weeks.

Redesigned in line with industry demand, the wagons will help transport more cars, especially sport utility vehicles (SUVs), reducing emissions and costs.

“The ‘ACT1’ (Auto Car Taller Wagon) wagon type can haul SUVs in both decks, as opposed to the one currently in use which can only load sports vehicles in one deck,” said Manish Thaplyal, who is credited with redesigning the wagons as Managing Director of Wagons at RDSO.

Thaplyal took over as Head of Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) at Northern Railway’s Lucknow Division on Thursday.

The wagons currently in use are referred to as double-deck wagons with bogies
Wagons (BCACBM).

The BCACBM wagon features a moveable deck arrangement that allows loading of compact cars on both decks (upper and lower) and SUVs only on the lower decks.

A train with 27 cars carries 318 small cars or 135 SUVs.

However, at launch, a train with a group of 33 ACT1 cars will have the capacity to carry 330 compact cars or 264 SUVs.

“The introduction of such trains can off-road a large number of trucks, resulting in freeway congestion, a reduction in carbon footprint and a reduction in foreign exchange spending on petroleum products.” The draft has been discussed with all stakeholders,” Thaplyal said.

From concept design through detailed design to prototyping, the ACT1 was developed in a short span of 18 months and is already approved to operate on the routes designated by the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited.

IVC Logistics Limited (IVCCL), a leading car transporter, has expressed interest in the ACT1 design.

Prototype testing, oscillation trial, final speed certificate issuance and CCRS legal inspection have been completed and the car design will be available for series production shortly, said Thaplyal, whose team on the project included Giriraj Sharma (Deputy Director, Wagon), Mansa Hansda, Raj Kumar Gupta, Dinesh Kumar (Senior Section Engineers) and Nikhil Yadav (JE).

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