CHENNAI 10/nov/2014: Railways have started to transport cars from Chennai by freight trains in association with the private sector. Union railway minister D V Sadananda Gowda flagged off a freight train which was designed in association with a private company for transporting automobiles at Melpakkam near Arakonam. The train, AutoLinxSM, introduced by APL Logistics VASCOR, is designed by Research Designs and Standards Organisation has capacity to carry 300 cars. Carrying approximately 280 finished vehicles, the first train left Melpakkam and is expected to arrive at the multi-modal logistics park of Container Corporation of India at Khatuwas near Delhi next week.
D P Pandey, member traffic, Railway Board, said, \"Railways have been running automobile rakes either through Railway\'s investment or by disjointed private investment. After the announcement of the new policy by the ministry of railways, interest has arisen to acquire rakes and register as an Auto Freight Transport Operator among private companies. This is the first rake to be run from south India through private investment by a firm of international repute in supply chain management in auto sector and has market expertise in vehicle logistics.\" Indian Railways has framed a policy for allowing the private sector to run automobile freight terminals. \"Indian Railways may require almost 100 rakes by 2020 even if it carries only 25% of the finished vehicles by rail,\" he said.
\"The launch of AutoLinxSM is a significant milestone for automotive sector,\" said Bill Garrett, CEO of the joint venture and president and CEO of VASCOR.