Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd strives to extend RoRo service down south based on SR request | Mangaluru News – Times of India

MANGALURU: A good 21 years after it first pioneered the concept of ‘Roll On-Roll Off’ (RoRo) service in India with service between Kolad and Verna, Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd (KRCL) on Wednesday strove to extend this service that presently ends at Surathkal, down South. KRCL in collaboration with Southern Railway (SR) successfully conducted a RoRo trial run for trucks between Surathkal in Karnataka and Kozhikode in Kerala.
Responding to demand from SR to extend its RoRo service between Kolad, off Mumbai and Surathkal near Mangaluru to destinations in Kerala, the trial run was held to explore operational feasibility of the service where trucks piggyback on BRN wagons. The trial commenced at 8.20am at Surathkal with a locomotive, three BRN wagons and a guard van. A metal structure equivalent to the height and width of a truck was mounted on the first BRN wagon.
The structure was to ensure safe passage of train through tunnels as well beneath the electrified lines in SR’s jurisdiction, Pratap Singh Shami, divisional railway manager, Palakkad said. The train passed through Kulashekara tunnel and beneath electrified lines in SR’s limits without any issue and reached Mangaluru Junction at 9.10am and left for Kozhikode at 10.30am after a technical halt. The initial plan was to take the RoRo up to Thiruvananthapuram.
Noting that a road over bridge just before Shoranur junction could be an obstruction, Shami said, the division will attempt to pass beneath the RoB on Wednesday and if not successful, the services will run till West Hill (Kozhikode). With more than two-decades of experience in running this specialised RoRo service, KRCL authorities were upbeat in operating the services and even extending it as demanded by Chennai headquartered SR.
Incidentally, the service started between Kolad and Verna, off Madgaon in Goa (417 km) on January 26, 1999. This was extended up to Surathkal near Mangaluru (721 km) from June 15, 2004. KRCL initially started the service with one rake and augmented it to five rakes. Presently, KRCL operates daily services based on demand and transports up to 50 trucks at a time under this arrangement which is a win-win for both Railways and the truck operators.

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Sagar Biswas

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