Maruti Suzuki, Indian Railways launch higher-capacity rakes
Gurgaon: Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) on Wednesday started transporting vehicles to south India using a new rake developed in association with the Indian Railways that is faster and can carry more cars.
The flexi deck auto-wagon rake was flagged off by Maruti Suzuki Chairman R C Bhargava and Railway Board Chairman Arunendra Kumar at Gurgaon railway station.
The rake, designed by the Indian Railways' Research Design and Standards Organisation, can carry up to 318 cars, compared with 265 cars in the existing twin decker rakes. It can move at up to 95 km per hour compared with 65 km per hour for existing rakes.
"We are delighted to have initiated this contemporary mode of transport to the Indian automobile industry," Maruti Suzuki Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kenichi Ayukawa said.
"The Indian Railways deserves all the credit for their foresight and tremendous enthusiasm and cooperation to make this initiative move from a concept to reality within a short span of around 36 months."
Maruti Suzuki is the first Indian automobile company to procure the flexi deck auto-wagon rakes. It has initially got three such rakes, each with 27 wagons.
The first flexi deck auto-wagon rake with 27 wagons chugged off to Nidavanda near Bangalore from Gurgaon carrying Maruti Suzuki cars such as Swift, Dzire, Alto, Wagon R and Omni. It is expected to reach Bangalore in five days. Transporting the cars by road would have taken a week.
Maruti has developed a railway station at Nidavanda, which has the capacity to handle about 300 vehicles presently. Nidavanda would be used as a feeder point for the dealer network in the south.