Crack Special: Indian Railways Launch Special Freight Train Between Krishnapatnam Port And Bellary


Embarking upon an innovative idea, the Railways launched a non-stop freight train, a first for the national transporter, from Krishnapatnam Port to Bellary for Jindal Steel Works reducing the running time considerably.

Dubbed as Crack Special, the non-stop freight train transported limestone with a single crew bypassing two crew changing points in 10 hours and eight minutes with an average speed of 41.87 kmph as against 17.5 hours of normal running time, a record so far.

South Central Railway has experimented with the Crack Special transportation on 415 km route on February 27 with a single crew operation from originating to destination without any en-route stop in order to reduce the running time and to improve the wagon turn around.

Krishnapatnam Port has been one of the major ports on the east coast, served by South Central Railway, offering significant traffic for transportation by rail. The majority of the traffic originating from this siding will move towards Karnataka and Maharashtra.

In order to better serve the traffic from the port, a new Railway line has been commissioned recently between Krishnapatnam Port-Venkatachalam-Obulavaripalle, connecting two important trunk routes.

The new rail line is the shortest path by 63 Kms and provides a hassle-free movement for the freight traffic circumventing busy and saturated trunk route between Venkatachalam-Gudur-Renigunta-Obulavaripalle. It also passes through the longest electrified tunnel on Indian Railways.

Now, the freight traffic towards Karnataka and Maharashtra originating from Krishnapatnam Port is being operated through this new rail line.

Keeping in view the strategic importance of this newly commissioned rail line between Krishnapatnam Port – Venkatachalam – Obulavariplle, the Crack Special has been chosen to operate on the same route on an experimental basis.

Appreciating the efforts made by the officers and staff of the zone by running a “Crack Special, SCR General Manager Gajanan Mallya opined that the innovative methods including handling of time-bound faster freight trains will help Railways meet the market demands and better serve the rail customers.

While the freight customers expressed satisfaction for the initiative of the zone in running the Crack Special, it is expected to be replicated on other zones as well.

Though railways earn profit from the freight operation and the loss-making passenger service is cross-subsidized, goods trains are put on the loop line to facilitate passenger trains movement.

Currently, Indian Railways is undertaking a massive exercise to make dedicated freight corridor (DFC) operational so that over-saturated routes are freed up from heavy congestion.

“Since the routes are facing heavy congestion, train movement is restricted. But once DFC is operational, goods trains will be running on exclusive path resulting in smooth and unhindered movement,” said a senior Railway Ministry official involved in freight operation.

Owing to slow and delayed goods movement due to congested rail routes, freight transportation has shifted to roads over the years. The speeding up of goods train will help railways attracting customers again from the road and its loading share will increase.