Southern Railways in a novel innovation launched India’s first RoadRailer train which is a bimodal vehicle capable of running on rails as a wagon and on road as a semi-trailer truck. With fuel prices spiraling it is expected that this new initiative of the railways would replace 50 to 55 trucks from roads thereby reducing costs and providing greater safety to the goods being transported.
The RoadRailer would also enable delivery of goods to the doorsteps of companies located along the train’s route and thus lead to a sharp drop in transportation costs. In its maiden run, the RoadRailer carried electrcal and electronic goods from Tamil Nadu to Haryana with the railways netting Rs 16.66 lakhs from the run.
A RoadRailer unit consists of eight truck wheels and are coupled with other units through adapter bogies. Each adapter bogie would have four rail wheels with each wagon having a capacity of up to 30 tonnes. A railway official opined that up to 50 wagons could be operated per trip and it is expected that this initiative would aid the national transporter in achieving a growth of six to eight per cent in freight earnings.