With proper planning, NFR has converted the unprecedented lockdown period into an opportunity to speed up maintenance work ever since regular passenger trains stopped plying throughout the country. The lock-down period provided some time gaps to take up track and other maintenance work, although freight carrying trains as well as parcel trains are running regularly with essentials items 24 x 7 and there were restrictions on the movement of men and material due to lockdown in the entire country.
All these works were done with detailed planning and continuous monitoring maintaining all COVID-19 related health protocols (e.g. social distancing etc.) despite an increase in the movement of parcel trains and freight trains during the lockdown period and starting of the Shramik Special Trains from 1st May onward followed by other AC special and passenger special trains. It was found that emphasis given on maintenance of assets leads to a substantial increase in asset reliability decreasing asset failures and thereby increasing the average speed of freight-carrying trains due to fewer detentions and speed restrictions. In theNFR area, the average speed of goods trains are continuously on the rise.
The monthly average speed of goods trains up to 28.06.2020 increased from 24.3 kmph to 34.89 kmph over the same period of last year. That is an increase of 43.6%. On 28.06.2020the average speed of freight trains was 43.08 kmph against 24.02 kmph on 28.06.2019.That is an increase of 79.4%.An increase in the average speed of goods train minimizes the turnaround time of the wagons thereby enabling Railways to maximize the use of the wagons which is necessary to carry essential commodities to every part of North Eastern states in view of the present COVID-19 scenario in India.
The increased average speed, resulting from the elimination of detentions and speed restrictions due to asset failures, also contributes to energy conservation by decreasing fuel consumption.It can be mentioned here that more than 1800 freight carrying and more than 800parcel trains movements were done by NFR during the lock-down period up to 28th June2020 to ensure that there is no scarcity of essential and other commodities within its jurisdiction.
Running such a huge number of trains (along with the Shramik Special trains and the Special passenger trains) with increased speed and loading / unloading them in time at their respective destinations require meticulous planning, excellent co-ordination with State authorities and Loaders/customers and continuous monitoring at all levels. NFR’s commitment to making essential and other commodities (for sustaining economic activities) available at every corner in its jurisdiction has propelled us to work towards this goal and achieve the feat.