Types of Goods Trains
1. Shunting Trains
- Carries inward loaded wagons and empties to be supplied for loading at intermediate stations and pickup outward loaded or empty wagons from those stations.
- These trains perform only shunting at intermediate stations and no loading/ unloading is done on the train.
- Wagons detached enroute as sick and subsequently made fit are also collected.
- Apart from inward and outward traffic in wagon loads, wagons are also loaded in large numbers at Sidings, Goods terminals, Transhipment points, Industrial areas like steel plants etc.
- Outward and inward between above places and marshalling yards are generally cleared by running of pilots.
- For clearing an outward load, an engine with or without BV and Guard is sent from nearest yard to siding.
3. Through Goods Trains
- One Marshalling Yard to next Marshalling Yard without any shunting enroute.
- Resorting done only in next Marshalling Yard.
- A train load which bypasses one or more Marshalling Yard is known as Block load.
- Block loads are given progressive number each month to see how many are run during the month.
- All wagons are meant to be unloaded at a particular point.
- Eg. Full train load of coal wagons to a particular thermal power house.
5. Unit Trains
- Integral movement of Goods, usually one particular commodity, moving from a sinlge origin to a single destination on a regular schedule using dedicated equipment and moving under a special tariff requiring annual minimum tonnage is called Unit Trains.
Essential features of Unit Trains are:
- They move between two fixed points on a fixed timetable basis.
- Rakes are dedicated exclusively for such services and no shunting is permitted enroute.
- Bypasses all intermediate yards. No sorting required.
- Loading/unloading operations at originating and destination stations are fully mechanized so that turn round at terminals are drastically curtailed.
- Entire train load is consigned by and consigned to a single consignor so that documentation is for a train load.
- Rolling stock is normally owned by users on whose behalf railways work the unit trains. Users guarantee a minimum quantum of traffic per annum and railways offer a reduced rate for transport of goods.
Advantages of Unit Trains
- Intensive utilization of freight car: Move on a tight schedule, bypasses intermediate yards. Terminal detentions are reduced due to mechanized loading/unloading. As a result utilization of freight cars is high.
- Relief to intermediate yards
- Special wagons: Tare weight can be reduced as they are not subjected to humping etc.
- Reduction in accounting and paper work as documentation is for train load.
- No damage/ loss to consignments and hence reduced claim.
- More orderly operation.
6. Merry Go Round (MGR) Trains
- Formed with bottom discharge hopper wagons which are loaded mechanically from overhead bunkers in the collieries while the train is in slow motion.
- Loaded wagon is moved to thermal power station at normal speed.
- At unloading line doors of wagons are opened through mechanical shaft devices and coal is discharged from bottom into underground bunkers.
- Doors are similarly closed at the exit end of the unloading line.
- Entire loading/unloading operations take hardly 45 minutes with 30 hopper wagons.
- Crew changing, electronic weighing, billing, documentation all is done while the train is in slow motion.
- NTPC have MGR system for thermal power house at Ramagundam, Singrauli etc.
- Advantages : High productivity of Rolling stock, regular movement, less investment in track by way of loading/unloading yards.
7. Freight Liners
- Freight Liners are fully containerized traffic.
- Run between container terminals on large scales.
- Loading/ unloading is mechanized and as such detention to rakes at terminals is reduced to minimum.