The rail-cum-road Bogibeel bridge over river Brahmaputra in upper Assam has brought huge operational benefits for goods transportation in Northeast Frontier Railway, an official said Wednesday. After commissioning of Bogibeel bridge last month, movement of goods trains over NF Railway has been streamlined to a great extent offering a large number of benefits due to the availability of the alternative path for the movement of goods trains from and to Upper Assam area via the North Bank route, NR Railway spokesman P J Sharma said.
The distance for goods trains travelling to Upper Assam bypassing Guwahati has not only been reduced from and to Dibrugarh by 170 km as compared to the South Bank, but Sharma also said there is a significant reduction in the requirement of manpower for the running of these goods trains too. Stating earlier the crew changing was done at New Guwahati, Lumding and Mariani, he said now in the route via North Bank crew changing is done only at Rangapara.
"This has resulted in the saving of two sets of crews. Earlier four pairs of drivers and assistant drivers were needed to run the trains up to Dibrugarh and Tinsukia, now the same can be done by only two pairs", the spokesman said. At the same time almost 8-10 hours of travelling time has been saved by redirecting the goods trains through the North Bank, he said.
Another significant benefit is the decrease in wagon turnaround time which is the average time required for a railway wagon to come back to its point of origin after having unloaded its consignment in the destination, he said, adding, the shorter turnaround time means more economic and more effective wagon utilisation. As many as 41 rakes have moved in the up direction (towards Dibrugarh / Tinsukia) and 47 rakes have moved in the down direction (from Dibrugarh / Tinsukia) after the commissioning of the Bogibeel Bridge, Sharma said.
Upward rakes mostly carry petroleum products for BCPL, FCI food grains and cement, while downward rakes carry fertilizer from Namrup, petroleum products from Digboi Refinery and coal from Ledo. With the opening of this alternate route through the North Bank, the rail network in the South Bank has been relieved of substantial operational pressure, he said.
This has not only led to an increase in the average speed of train but has also given much more time for maintenance of tracks, bridges and other assets in the South Bank network, Railway spokesman informed. The requirement of additional locomotives for banking (pushing) the heavier rakes of coal, petroleum, via the steeper gradient of Lumding Division has also substantially reduced after redirecting the trains via Bogibeel Bridge, Sharma said.
(With inputs from agencies.)