Railways bets on Maruti, Kia to increase freight kitty

NEW DELHI: The Indian Railways is betting on increased freight loading by automakers including Maruti Suzuki and South Korea’s Kia Motors as the lockdown is eased. During the lockdown, the railways had been in touch with both companies for their transportation requirements, a senior railway ministry official said.

One freight train loaded with 100 units of Kia Seltos left from Bengaluru on Sunday. The rate for one such train, known as a rake, is about Rs 19 lakh.

“We are expecting orders from automakers to stabilise and go up to 10 rakes every month,” said RS Saxena, divisional railway manager at Bengaluru.

While the cost of moving SUVs by rail is similar to that by road, rail transportation is faster – rakes from Bengaluru reach New Delhi in three to four days compared with a week by road, Saxena told ET.

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