Besco Limited Wagon Division, an Indian wagon manufacturer, has partnered with Hindalco, an Indian aluminum producer, to create a new type of wagon. These are the first Indian made aluminum wagons for Indian Railways freight trains. The new railcars weigh 180 tons less than conventional railcars and allow for higher speeds and payloads, plus lower energy consumption. This is reported by Railway Supply magazine with reference to RailFreight.

aluminium railcar

A train with aluminum carriages is already operating in the east of the country. On October 16, the first trip was made. The first train, equipped with 61 new cars, was loaded with coal for transport to the Hindalco aluminum plant in Lapang, near the Hirakud Reservoir lake.

The cars were manufactured from high-strength aluminum alloy at Hindalco’s facility in Hirakuda, about 300 km from Bhubaneswar. By using aluminum instead of steel, the wagons are resistant to corrosion, saving time and resources on maintenance.

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While aluminum railcars are 35% more expensive to produce, they are expected to last about ten years longer than steel railcars and maintain a higher resale value. In addition, thanks to the new wagons, it will be possible to transport 180 tons more cargo. The project should also help India reduce nickel and cadmium imports in favor of the domestic aluminum industry.

Indian Railways and Hindalco have big ambitions for aluminum railcars. As Hindalco said in a press release, both companies plan to switch to aluminum railcars by 15-20 percent. With Indian Railways looking to operate around 100,000 wagons over the next few years, the introduction of aluminum wagons will greatly help the country meet its climate goals.

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