NEW DELHI: Railways has emerged as the most preferred mode of transportation for automobiles, given its low cost, faster service, reliability and safety. In 2017-18, around 29 million vehicles were manufactured in the Country, registering a growth of 14.78 per cent over the same period the previous year. Given the current low car penetration, rising prosperity, and the increasing affordability of private vehicles, the automobile industry is poised to grow even faster in India. These vehicles need to be transported to the far-flung areas of the Country. Railways, in recent times, has undertaken a number of initiatives to capture the automobile traffic.
Member Traffic, Mr Mohd Jamshed, said: “Year 2017-18 has witnessed a paradigm shift in the marketing efforts of Railways to attract automobile traffic and enhance our freight basket. Specially in the latter half of 2017-18, under the guidance of Minister of Railways, Mr Piyush Goyal, we decided to liberalise Automobile Freight Train Operator (AFTO) policy to encourage more private investment in special wagons, procurement of our own BCACBM (high-capacity railway wagons) and NMG wagons. In April 2018, we have taken two game-changing decisions to allow handling of automobile from all container terminals and to allow loading automobile and auto spares in privately-owned wagons in different directions for optimal utilisation of stock.”
The Railways is working closely with the automobile industry to develop policies which are mutually beneficial to the industry as well as Railways.