irst-ever special parcel train to Bangladesh, transporting dry chillies from Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district he Railways has operated its f to the neighbouring country. Farmers and merchants in and around Guntur area earlier transported dry chillies by road to Bangladesh in small quantities.
Special Parcel Trains
Guntur and its surrounding areas in the state of Andhra Pradesh are well known for chillies cultivation. The quality of this farm produce is internationally renewed for its uniqueness in taste and brand. For moving the consignment by Goods trains, it is mandatory for the farmers and merchants to mobilise the quantity in bulk i.e. at least more than 1500 tonnes in each trip. To mitigate this problem and to facilitate the rail users to move their quantities in smalls i.e., up to a maximum of 500 tonnes in each trip, Guntur Division of South Central Railway took the initiative and moved the Special Parcel Express to Bangladesh. This has helped the farmers and merchants of Guntur to market their farm produce beyond the country border by transporting the dry chillies in small quantities through Special Parcel Express.
Accordingly, one Special Parcel Express train consisting of 16 parcel vans moved to Benapole in Bangladesh. Each parcel van was loaded with 466 dry chillies bags, weighing around 19.9 tonnes and the total weight carried by the Special Parcel Express is around 384 tonnes. The cost per tonne for carrying by special train was Rs 4,608 per tonne and which was far more economical when compared with road transport, typically amounting to Rs 7,000 per tonne.
Indian Railways has taken a series of steps to boost parcel train traffic during the Covid period, by making railway parcel vans available for quick mass transportation of essential items like medical supplies, medical equipment, food, etc, by e-commerce entities and other customers including state governments. Railways has run over 4,304 time-tabled parcel special trains on select routes, to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential items.